Weeds AND Flowers?
In one of the parables that Jesus tells, he encourages the growth of weeds alongside the flowers. That doesn’t quite sound right, does it? Surely, we think, the weeds will overcome the flowers. That’s the way I used to think too. But this parable is stretching me to think that there might be something that happens to me, that changes me, when I grow amongst the weeds. You notice that I am identifying with the flowers! What if I am a weed? What if I am sowing weed seeds?
In this time of conflicting ideologies, messages, and choices being made, I wonder what would happen if we truly occupied the same space, grew in the same garden, and were literally forced to co-dwell, to co-exist? Do I trust and hope that my effort, together with God’s, will bring about the coming off God’s desire for us?
Pope Francis encourages us in our time of suffering and our time of creating goodness and peace:
God’s Kingdom requires our cooperation, but it is above all the initiative and gift of the Lord. Our weak effort, seemingly small before the complexity of the problems of the world, when integrated with God’s effort, fears no difficulty. The victory of the Lord is certain: his love will make every seed of goodness present on the ground sprout and grow. This opens us up to trust and hope, despite the tragedies, the injustices, the sufferings that we encounter. The seed of goodness and peace sprouts and develops, because the merciful love of God makes it ripen.