Pulling Weeds…

In the year 1770 in a small Italian church, two altar boys - Annibale Della Genga and Francesco Castiglioni - while preparing for Benediction, began arguing over who would stand on the priest’s right for the procession. Castiglioni cracked Della Genga over the head with a candlestick. Blood dripped out of his head, and both boys began pushing each other. Shocked parishioners screamed, “Throw them out! Throw them out!” So the embarrassed priest grabbed the boys, led them to the door, and tossed them out of the church.Jesus

Later, Della Genga became Pope Leo XII (reigned from 1823 to 1829).   Castiglioni succeeded him as Pope Pius VIII (reined from 1829-1830). Now if you told any of those pew sitters back in 1770 that they had two future-Popes in the back of their church, they’d have laughed you out of the building: “Those two boys? The ones hitting each other with candles?” Today’s Gospel gives us the good news that God can change even weeds into wheat and that we should be patient. Those two boys who were weeds became wheat.

In life, we come across lots more weeds than wheat. What do we do about the presence of the various expressions of evil in our world – what Jesus would call weeds? It may be in the form of dehumanizing depictions of sexual violence on the screen, of suggestive lyrics, of the tragedies of greed and self-serving possessiveness, or of environmental pollution -- the presence of evil rears its head seemingly at every turn.

So what are we to do? The weeds comprise all that is contrary to the spirit and work of Christ, of what is good and decent and upright -- in our eyes and to our ears! What are we going to do about them? Can we do anything at all?

Some parents who ignore and fail to raise their children in good faith, allow them to grow as weeds – to produce evils in the society. If lawmakers promote things which are contrary to the spirit of Christ’s values, then they actively cooperate to grow bad things in the society. One could understand the reason – ‘why so much bad and evils prevailing in the society and it is not easy to eradicate them.’ 

Pulling weeds is an important part of a successful life. But God can change even weeds to wheat, if we patiently pray for good things to happen.

In the Service of the Lord,
   Father Thainese Alphonse



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St. Bernadette Catholic Church