The Gospel today presents in pretty stark tones the line between good and evil. These two sides are not equal, goodness grows and is substantial while evil eats away and is a lack. Whatever is truly good grows towards and works for God’s purposes and whatever is evil needs to be cut off, plucked out, or drowned. There are certainly some intimidating lines and clear warnings to take heed of, however I think this Gospel ultimately presents a very beautiful image of life.
One of the wonderful things about being Catholic is that the Church of God is a very big tent. From the great cathedrals of Europe to small missions around the world, from suburban parishes in the U.S. to large outdoor masses in Africa or India, we are united by God’s good grace given through His Church. This means that the Church affirms goodness anywhere and everywhere. We say yes to good work and to good vacations, we say yes to pious penance and to great parties. We say yes to truths in science and in faith.
We hold all of these things together under one Church because God is one. God is also good, true, and beautiful. So whatever is truly good, true, or beautiful will only bring us closer to God. So yes, whatever distracts us from that should be cut off or plucked out, but those things are parasitic to the much greater good of God’s glory winding its way through the whole world.