My Dear Parish Family,
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that the kingdom is like the good seed and the bad seed. This reminds me of my Catholic high school religion class when we learned about the ancient Chinese concept of yin and yang. Black and white. Sun and shade. The idea I remember is that without darkness, we cannot know light. Without sadness, we cannot know joy. Without bad, we cannot know good. These seeming opposites are actually complimentary and necessary. Two halves that together complete wholeness.
Interestingly, newborns literally see only black and white. Toddlers learn basic concepts in opposites, up and down, in and out. Young children study patterns to learn basic math concepts. Square, circle, square, circle, square …. Children see moral issues clearly as black or white until about midtolate middle school when they begin to see that life presents gray areas.
If all we had was wheat, we would stop noticing it. It is precisely because of the weeds that we can distinguish the wheat and therefore appreciate it, treasure it, care for it. Our impulse to discard the bad is natural. Jesus said to let them grow together. Presumably, to see one, find favor with one, reject one, choose one, discard one.
With yin and yang, as one part decreases, the other part increases to maintain the overall balance of the whole. I think of the wheat and the weeds in my own life. What can I do to increase the wheat and reduce the weeds? It definitely takes work and intent and patience then more work like a real garden. I wonder if Jesus gave us another yin and yang in Reconciliation and Holy Communion. One removes the bad, kills the weeds and one feeds, nourishes and strengthens us for life in the garden.
God is merciful because we need mercy. God is love because we are lovable. So let’s love.
It is all about Jesus’ great love for us. How do we live that love? How do we show that love to all we meet?
The kingdom is like … sharing an ice cream with a grandchild, lingering in conversation at the dinner table, road trips, giggles, smiles shared, picnics, helping and being needed, cool water and warm sand, freshcut flowers, comfy cushions, sending and receiving caring messages, movies and music, a crackling fire on a chilly evening, candlelight … being connected with the people that God has put in our lives and being connected with God. With hearts on fire for God and Jesus by our side, every day is heavenly.
Parish Life Minister
July 23, 2017