We all have experience with weeds. Just as in today’s Gospel, they seem to spring up overnight and they thrive in the dryness and heat of summer. We fight to keep the lawn green and thick, moist and rich looking but without any help from us, the weeds thrive. Our vegetable and flower gardens look beautiful until suddenly one morning, as if overnight a mysterious being pushed new plants into the ground, and we wake up to find those dastardly weeds growing amidst the rich beauty and productivity we had so meticulously tendered for the past weeks. They sometimes even try to disguise themselves with color and beauty that belies their true nature and may cause us to think twice about dealing with them. They steal nutrients from the soil. They extend themselves in height and breadth to push aside the fruit of the “good” seed and choke out the “good” plants by overcrowding the space we had so carefully planned for the proper fertility of the soil. Even weed barriers give way to their persistence. What’s wrong with this picture?
The parable of the “good” seed is an apt metaphor for our lives in this world. Years ago their was a popular poster that proclaimed, “God doesn’t make junk,” referring to the inherent “goodness” of each and every person. It’s true that God only sows “good” seed that are intended to produce “good” fruit and be gathered at harvest into His eternal and glorious Kingdom with Him for ever and ever. That is why we Catholics, the Body of Christ, the Church, will ever and always defend the natural “goodness” of each person from the moment of conception to their last breath of life. We try to nourish each other and keep each other growing strong in spite of the weeds around us that try to choke off our lives.
Yes, some succumb to the weeds of life and allow their growth to become stunted and we relatives and friends are frustrated at our inability to nurture them back to the rich life God intended. For others, the weeds around them have become so thick we can no longer find the plants that started out as “good” seed. Perhaps, that is the key. They began as “good” seed and contain a “goodness” for which we pray to rise up and triumph over the weeds.