Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God. By kingdom of heaven or God, he did not mean a kingdom with geographical boundaries as in our world but the Reign of God. Throughout his earthly ministry, he offered many parables to explain this kingdom. In today’s gospel, we hear one such parable, and it is very appropriate for the present situation in our world.
Jesus said that the kingdom of God can be likened to a man who sowed a good seed in his field. But when everyone was sleeping an enemy came and sowed weeds among the good wheat seeds. Then good and bad seeds sprouted and the plants grew.
When we think of this parable and apply it to our present situation we ask the question why is it that some of our citizens born and bred in our country could become so evil as to kill innocent people in our own land? Didn’t we sow good seeds in their minds? Isn’t it true that we sow the seeds of goodwill among various ethnic groups and teach them to respect one another? Haven’t we allowed different cultures and religions to practise their customs and rituals in peace?
Yes, we have been doing all those things. So where did we go wrong, and how did the bad seed flourish? What should we do now?
Look at this parable carefully. When the owner’s servants noticed that there were weeds among the wheat their immediate response was to pull them up. This was a very natural response. But the owner did not want his servants to do that. He was concerned that while pulling up the weeds they might root up the wheat with them.
Can you see what a parallel we have got with this and the response of some people soon after the bomb blasts in our country? Is it, not a fact that there were some who wanted to uproot the weeds immediately after the bomb blasts?
I believe that in such a situation we must have the wisdom to go beyond what we see and experience on the surface. Like the owner of the field in the parable, we must consider the roots. The owner of the field did not want his servants to uproot the weeds because the roots of wheat were so close and intertwined with the weeds.
Before we condemn anybody it is important to have a good understanding of the root cause of the problem. Here it is helpful to remember our Lord and Mater Jesus who was condemned and rejected by his own people as a rebel. But ultimately he became the saviour of the world.
I believe that what is needed is to promote symbiosis between various cultures, religions and ethnic groups. Let me give an example of symbiosis in the agricultural world. Have you seen how some bushes grow well under tall trees? Tall trees supply the shade needed for small bushes. On the other hand, the bushes supply certain chemicals needed for the growth of tall trees. When we live in symbiosis we are nourished by one another. Although we accept our differences we don’t feel threatened by one another.
Are we ready to promote this symbiosis?