How is one to respond to situations like this in our families and in our church communities? What did Jesus have to say about such matters? We can find one answer in the Gospel of Matthew 13: 24-30. Here we find the Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat. Jesus explains the meaning of this parable in verses 38-39.
Thomas H. Green, S.J., who died this month in the Philippines, wrote a wonderful book entitled, Weeds Among the Wheat. In chapter 8 he addresses this dilemma in an interesting and unique way. The following is from page 144:
"In its primary meaning, then, the parable is presented as refering to the coexistence in this life of good and evil men and women, of those "planted" by Jesus himself and those planted by the devil. Why does God allow evil men to exist and to corrupt the field which is this world of ours? By any normal human standards, this 'fifth column' of the devil should be rooted out if the kingdom is to prosper and come to full fruition. Yet, the parable tells us, it is not so in the mystery of the kingdom of heaven. Here the weeds must be allowed to coexist with the wheat until the harvest, lest in uprooting the weeds 'you might pull up the wheat with them.' Apparently the weeds and the wheat are so entangled in the field of this world that one could not be uprooted without endangering the other."
"...I believe we can extend the parable even further without doing violence to the meaning intended by Jesus himself. That is, as St. Paul indicates in Romans 7 in discussing the two 'laws' at work within himself, we may also take the 'field' to be the soul of the individual believer. Here too both good and evil seed is sown, the former by the Son of Man and the latter by the evil one. Both weeds and wheat sprout and grow in this personal field; and the mysterious fact is that it seems we must allow the weeds to grow until the harvest, lest 'when you pull out the weeds you might pull up the wheat with them.'"