As I was prepping for this homily, I found a homily preached by a deacon in New Jersey. He discussed the “Theory of the Butterfly.” You might have heard about this theory and said that it is garbage science, but it goes something like this. The movement of the wings of a butterfly can effect change in the world, like causing a tropical storm to grow into a Cat 5 hurricane. Rubbish, right? But this is what the Gospel parables that Jesus tells alludes to. The little things we do can make a difference. Hold this thought for a moment.
What is your perception about the Kingdom of God? I’m sure most of us consider the Kingdom of God to be heaven. But have you considered the possibility that the kingdom is really here on earth; that it is among us. This is where the wheat and the weeds parable come in. The kingdom is all around us. But are you the wheat or the weeds, the good influence or the bad? How do your actions influence others, good wheat or bad weeds? Do you judge others the same as the workers judged the weeds? “Let’s just pull them out and throw them away” because these people are different, or needy, or have different views on things? “They don’t think like me so throw them out.”
This is the environment we all live in today, one of “My way or the highway.” We no longer want to have discussion about opposing viewpoints. We would rather argue and insult each other instead of working toward a solution to the challenge, to reach a common goal. No, we just want to fight amongst ourselves and become more divisive.
We are told in the Book of Wisdom that we should care about everyone and not unjustly condemn. That we need to show lenience, be kind and promote hope in the face of adversity. This is where the Butterfly Theory comes in. That tiny seed you plant is someone’s mind about the unborn instead of railing on them will go farther in converting that person. Showing your children visiting from out of town that going to church on Sunday is important to you, more important than that tee time with your son-in-law. Invite them to come along, that seed just might get them back to Sunday Mass.
The tiniest of seeds, the mustard seed, produces a large bush. You planting that tiny seed may have a profound effect on someone, and you may never know it. Showing compassion to a coworker going through a tough time, even though they tend to be a real pain most of the time, goes a long way in helping that person feel wanted. And they may just pay it forward to someone else. That’s the Butterfly Theory in action. What you do to someone may affect another person you may never know, just because you made a positive difference in someone’s life.
Yet the reality today is not one of tolerance or compassion or forgiveness. The culture of today is to vilify, condemn, seek retribution, destroying what is not yours just because you can. The lack of Jesus in our homes, the lack of prayer in our homes, the lack of true Christian values being taught in our homes could be the weeds that are sown among us. The devil and his followers have an insidious way of getting the wheat to follow. It’s like baiting a child with candy.
Remember the end of the parable of the man who sowed the good seed? Those who cause a little one, a child of God to sin, will be dealt with severely at the end of time. The weeds will be gathered and burned. And the wheat will be gathered into the barn, the barn of eternal life with God.
Again, this is where the Butterfly Theory comes into play. Remember how the householder told his workers not to pull up the weeds because they might also pull up the wheat? You as the wheat in the world can affect other people who are also the wheat but are being choked by the weeds. Those others may be the ones who are not strong in their faith and are being influenced by the secular world in the wrong way. Or are being influenced to be a part of the “My way or the highway” culture. The ones who are being influenced by others in authority who are leading them on a path to self-destruction and ultimately the destruction of the values we as Christians hold near and dear to our hearts. Be that Butterfly. Speak up when you see someone who needs guidance because of the sway of the devil and his followers. Who knows, your “wings” might just turn the heart of someone in need of a positive influence to come back to Jesus and pay it forward influencing others.
So which are you, the wheat or the weeds? And how will your “Butterfly Wings” affect the world? God Bless.