This reflection was taken from the Sunday Mass Readings of July 20, 2014:
As far as botany is concerned, the roots of weeds are known to “choke” the roots of other plants (more specifically, by crowding and starving them). Similarly, the root of the “weeds” in the parable–the “root” being Satan–tries to choke our own roots, even going so far as to try and pull them out of the ground altogether. Satan doesn’t try so much to tear us down as he does to uproot us, leaving us feeling bemused and baffled so as to take away our faith in God.
The softer the ground that our roots are imbedded in, the easier this is for him. Therefore, we must strive to lets our roots grow straight from the Rock–the Rock of Jesus and the Rock of His Church. It’s the same principal as the parable of the foolish/wise man and his house (the foolish one who had his foundation laid in sand, and the wise one who had it laid in rock) (see Mt 7:24-27). For which is harder to pull out–a post stuck in the dirt, or a post imbedded in concrete?
Jesus and His Church are concrete reality. If it were not so, the Apostles–eyewitnesses of Jesus’ own ministry–would not have given their lives so fully (most to the point of martyrdom) for them, and St. Paul would never have been converted from Christian martyrer to Christian martyr by an appearance of the Resurrected Christ.
As for the people referred to as “weeds”–we must not literally regard them as such in our hearts. Jesus only called them that for the sake of the parable. We can’t forget that they are human beings–images of God, just like us–who have an eternal fate (whether it be to a good or bad end). We can and should despise these people’s immoral actions and arguments, but we must remember to not hate the people. They are in great need.
What can we do for these people? The best answers would probably be to “show rather than tell” them our faith, and to pray for them.
To “show rather than tell” is a principal I get from courses on writing: when I apply it to faith, what I mean is that we should, rather than relay the facts of Christianity (which are, no doubt, very important in themselves and in our lives), show our faith in God (as I recall learning from the wisdom of Bob Fishman on his EWTN show one Holy Week). We can do this through our inner joy despite circumstances, by our obedience to His Commandments despite pressure, and in our fearlessness in the face of worldly evil.
As far as prayer is concerned, we may sometimes think that a person seems like a “hopeless case.” When this crosses our minds, we need to keep in mind the rich young man from Matthew 19: “‘Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.’ When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, ‘Who then can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible’” (Mt 19:24-26). God has a plan to bring everyone to salvation; sometimes, the best we can do in order to help that plan come to pass is to simply pray that God’s will be done–just as we should learn to do with all things in our lives.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden”–Jesus (Mt 5:14)
by Cameron Daly