Allowing anything is not ”kindly”… pursue knowledge and act justly
Do you find it difficult to accept/ forgive people who have behaved badly (unless your own child or parent)? Having lived in the so called rich and poorer countries, I’ve noticed that people with less money tend to be more tolerant and forgiving than those with more money.
This could be because people with more money are more busy and active, and have less time to be “patient” with badly behaved people. However, in poorer countries, people know much better than the so called “rich” people, that we need each other. Having less wealth pushes us to tolerate, forgive (try to forget), and move on.
The Darnel and the Wheat in our Gospel today, symbolise the “good” and “selfish”. What do weeds do? They suck water and nutrients from the soil around them (our world), depriving the wheat (“good” people) of the necessary good that every person needs.
But the reality is, if we are honest with each other, that we are not totally good 24 hours per days, 365 days of the year – there are occasions when we are selfish.
However, equally complicated, is the reality that, sometimes, what looks like selfishness to one person may be survival for another. When eagles have their young ones in the nest there comes a time for them to leave. But they don’t always leave voluntarily!
Some people say that parent eagles remove the soft feathers in the nest, to make it hard and uncomfortable. Other people say, the parents start feeding the young ones less so they are motivated to leave and hunt for themselves.
Are the parent eagles selfish or prudent? Of course we say they are doing the right thing! In the same way, we may misjudge people around us for being selfish, when they are simply challenging us to grow up, or behave better.
Now, this is not a simple matter: parents can be “weeds” to their children when they do not spend enough time at home at important moments of a child’s life. Priests can be like “weeds” when they take from the parish members, but fail to give their time and energy to help them.
Our First Reading says: Your sovereignty over all makes you lenient to all.
Our responsorial psalm says: Lord, you are good and forgiving.
Our Second Reading says: The Spirit comes to help us in our weakness.
The Gospel says: Let them both grow until the harvest.
We see how amazing God is: especially the whole drama of Holy Week and Easter, when Jesus Christ suffered and died for our sakes. We could then say Jesus is the Darnel and we are the weeds. So, what is God trying to teach us through these Readings?
Simply to be more tolerant and understanding toward others: that we all need time to change from being Weeds to become Darnel. A child is a weed: a beautiful weed!
Why? Because they take goodness from the mother (in the womb) without giving much back except discomfort, kilograms and pain = Weed.
However, over time, the baby grows into an adult and gives more than they take = Darnel.
The problem often comes when we don’t grow up, when we remain a Weed. In First Form at school in Australia, the older students referred to us as “weeds”.
We were not really happy, but we tolerated it because we were smaller than them! ha, ha.
I’d sharing with you some amazing knowledge I learnt this week on National Geographic TV channel. There’s an amazing ongoing study in New Zealand – and it started 40 years ago: The Dunedin Study: 1,037 babies born in 1972/73 at Dunedin, participate in a study to monitor their physical, psychological and lived lives. Every few years they are studied: ages 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 21, 26, 32, 38, 44 (50 is yet to be done). Extraordinary insights have been discovered about things at a young age being accurate predictors of future events. Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study
I share this information because of the importance of knowledge to give us understanding: then we can develop empathy and tolerance for other people around us. Some people carry problems from long ago caused by other people or nature: and, sometimes, it’s hard to change.
From the Dunedin Study, it has been estimated that people fall into the following personalities: Well-adjusted (40%), confident (28%), reserved (15%), under-controlled (10%), inhibited (7%). In the last 20 years Governments from around the world have starting helping to pay for the study because it was found to be representative of the world: not just NZ.
This is not meant to be an excuse for remaining a weed, but simply a way to help us imitate Jesus Christ more easily: the more we understand, the more easily we have compassion.
I pray, this week especially, that we might listen more, and seek knowledge about situations and people, so that we can act more justly in relation to others.
By Gerard Conlan, OMI