This is the time of year when many of you find it necessary to get down on your knees and carefully weed the garden of that unwanted growth that is showing signs of challenging the various flowers, grasses, and bushes that you want to cultivate.
The temptation is, of course, to keep putting it off until the weeds have taken such a hold that you surrender and vow that next year will be different.
This past week I invested in an up-to-date, protection system for my computer. I also signed up for what the manufacturer calls Jump Start. It was fantastic! Within a few minutes I was on the phone with a company rep. who for the next hour took over my computer. While I sat there and watched his mouse skittering in all directions over my screen, he took me places that I had never been before. He adjusted settings and deleted files and after about 20 minutes pronounced my computer to be in top shape and ready for him to install the new system. I found the whole experience amazingly helpful and refreshing. I would have invited him over for a beer but he was in Chicago!
Today's Gospel reminds us all that our spiritual lives can be very much the same. Every so often we should examine our values and priorities; (check our files and settings) the things that give us satisfaction, that annoy us, that embarrass us, that motivate us ...things that matter or don't matter. You know what I am saying.
And then, comes the effort to separate and weed out those particular tendencies and quietly developing habits that threaten to crowd, to confuse and to complicate our lives to the point where the fundamentals are lost in the jungle, and we lose track of what it means to be a Christian and a Catholic; and that is when we throw up our hands and say: "That's life ...that's the real world" ...and the weeds grow on.
"Come to me all you who labour and are burdened." An invitation from our Creator, from the Divine gardener. An invitation to stop and to consider how relatively meaningless is the jungle of concerns, ambitions, jealousies and fears in which we tend to become entangled. He promises to help us to make a thorough self examination and invites us to perhaps follow up with a good sacramental confession with a priest that we know and trust. Here is a gift that surely bears the tag, "Love, from Jesus." If we accept the invitation we are likely to receive as a bonus, a little gift called "meekness."
This gives us the balance, the confidence and the peace to remain unintimidated by the loud noises and violent gestures generated by those who remain in the grip of greed, fear and confusion. Meekness is reflected in the gentle, the kind, the courteous, the gracious, the enduring. All within the context of faith, hope and charity. You see, only the VERY strong can be numbered among the blessedly meek.
There will always be those who will dismiss faith in God's redeeming, weeding Grace with a knowing smirk, saying that it is but a crutch. Perhaps, in a way it is, like a light is a crutch to a child surrounded by darkness. But, I ask you, who is the more realistic? ...The person who makes use of a light or the one who prefers to stumble along in the dark, amongst the weeds, the worms and the occasional virus?