God does not abandon us in our weakness, but the Spirit intercedes for us (Second Reading). God will not eradicate the weeds indiscriminately lest the good plants be damaged (Gospel). God is so mighty he is able to judge us all leniently and permits repentance for our sins (First Reading).
Many years ago, when I was chaplain at St. Joseph’s Farm in Granger, the Brothers asked me to take charge of the veggie garden. Happily, I did so. The first Spring I thought I was being really smart by grabbing some bales of straw from the wheat harvest to use as mulch. What I didn’t know was that the combine was not 100 percent efficient in removing all the grains of wheat. So the garden ended up having all kinds of wonderful veggies, but also a nice crop of wheat so much so that I gave up pulling the wheat stalks out.
So here’s the question: Is wheat in a veggie garden a weed? Are corn stalks in a wheat field weeds? Do you let them be or pull them out? If one pulls the wheat out from the radish or beet or potato patch, damage will be done to the root veggies. If you pull the corn from the wheat field, how much wheat will be destroyed getting to and from the corn?
So how does this apply to us?
First of all, we tend to get upset and angry at our own personal sinfulness. “Why can’t I get rid of this sinful habit? I pray and pray and pray, but it persists.” Well, maybe there comes a time when you have to realize that a particular sin is part of your life. You’ve honestly and sincerely tried to change and you continue to try and change, but it’s still there. But look at it this way: If you didn’t have that habit, would you pray as much?
Second, we tend to see certain people as weeds in our garden of life. But if they were not there, would you learn patience, compassion, understanding, forgiveness?
God sees our weediness, but God loves our fruitfulness and beauty!!! Even the weeds have a part to play in God’s plan of salvation and in our growth as human beings.
Love deeply, pray faithfully, laugh often!!