The story is told of a man driving a winding country road. He is almost run off it by a woman who rounds a curve too wide. As she gets back onto her side she yells at him, “Pig!” He promptly responds, “Idiot!” only to round the bend and crash into a pig. We don’t always know the circumstances of any person’s life or the benefit they have. We do know, from Jesus’ parable on weeds and wheat, that whatever or whoever we think are weeds it’s best not to respond by harming them but rather by healing them.
Some Christians, certain they are wheat and others are weeds, sometimes respond to harm, or its believed existence, by being themselves harmful. What precipitates 57,000 children, on their own, crossing the U.S. border from the south? Could it be the 1994 NAFTA trade agreement? It destroyed Mexican and Central American economies and gutted unions so as to provide capitalist drug dealers legal cover to run corporate sweatshops and kill any workers (i.e. mothers and fathers) who oppose them? NAFTA’s 20 year reign of terror has yet to be brought into a conversation more and more dominated by militant Christians who are so sure of the harm done by children crossing a border. While the children are like the woman in the opening story experiencing danger and warning that it is ahead, for those willing to listen, Christians intent upon preserving the U.S. Empire, are on a collision course with its practices.
The basic problem with weeds is that they don’t know how to get along. They’re aggressive. They dominate nutrients and control conditions for their own benefit so that survival is difficult for other, fruitful life. It’s become an apt description of U.S. Empire and it needs the healing attention of disciples nurtured in Christ.
Prayer: Dear God, help us relinquish any characteristics of a weed and be fruitful instead.
Question: What are the weeds I can transform?
July 20, 2014 Gospel Matthew 13:24-30 Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time