On the occasion of the 100th birthday celebration of the United States held in Philadelphia, PA, in 1876, countries were invited to build exhibits to grace the occasion. The Japanese government constructed a beautiful garden filled with plants from their homeland. The large leaves and sweet-smelling blooms of Kudzu captured the imagination of American gardeners. This exotic import became popular and was seen as a God-given solution to the soil-erosion problem. Between 1935 and 1942 (during the Great Depression), the US government nurseries produced 84 million kudzu seedlings, planting them wherever they would grow. By 1943, there was a Kudzu Club of America with 20,000 members and an annual “Kudzu Queen.” Kudzu is a vine (creeper plant) with the phenomenal growth of twelve inches in 24 hours. People in the South have a saying: “If you’re gonna plant kudzu, drop it, and run away.” Which explains why some have called it “the vine that ate the South.” It can cover anything and choke everything. It can twine itself around fruit trees until it kills the entire orchard. Therefore, the USDA eventually demoted Kudzu to “weed status” with the definition of a weed being “any plant that does more harm than good.” Kudzu came to this country as a seed but turned out to be a weed eventually.
Saint Mathew, the evangelist, writes about the parable of Jesus where wheat and weeds grow together (Mt.13:24-30). The weeds in the parable are “darnel.” which botanists call as ‘Lolium termulentum.’ They are members of the wheat family that look like wheat and hide out in wheat-fields, producing poisonous seeds.
“We live today in a world that is continuously changing, changing for the good and the bad, like the field in the parable, which allows seeds and weeds to grow together.“
They are very deceptive, and it is hard to distinguish those weeds from the seeds as they look alike. It is very hard today sometimes to distinguish the good from the evil as they appear alike. Today’s world can offer us sometimes packages that look more than real, more than good, which like Kudzu prove to be evil eventually in the course of time. There are also situations around us where the weeds are becoming seeds as well. People who are so-called evil and notorious today are changing their attitudes and lifestyle to become substantial contributors to society. Some of them even become great icons of charity, compassion, mercy, and loving traits of God. They are examples of weeds becoming seeds. There are seeds and weeds, good and evil growing simultaneously in the world, and it is very clear from the day to day life of our society.
Every person is a microcosmos that reflects the epitome of the entire universe/world. There is a field in each of us where both seeds and weeds grow together simultaneously in a deceptive manner where we are not able to distinguish. It grows and grows, and only when one takes over the other, we realize the fact that we had been feeding unconsciously that particular one which took over the other. In real life, there are chances for seeds to become weeds and weeds to become seeds as our society is a very fertile area for both seeds and weeds. It creates opportunities and possibilities for us where we have to discern and decide for ourselves as to what fits best in proportion to what we have been created for in this life. It calls for a reminder and mindfulness of our mission and vision in this life. When one loses sights of his/her purpose of life here on earth, one is prone to lose the path and derail in life. Therefore, there is a great need to be always in touch with ourselves and our mission and vision in life. It is just like our daily food, and if we fail in it, we fall weak and sick. There are angels and demons, saints and sinners, good and evil within us and around us. What grows within us is based on what we feed ourselves regularly, and the quality of food determines the quality of our life. Every day is an opportunity for us to make the option as to whom you want to feed and who really you want to be in this life? The quality of tomorrow’s society and the quality of your life tomorrow will be based on the one whom you choose to feed today! Whom do you honestly want to feed? Who do you really want to be tomorrow?
Fr Tomy Puliyan, MSFS
“Holiness and Happiness through Wellness and Wholeness”