The power of the sprout

In all living beings there is an incredible growth force, an unstoppable and blind impulse to live and grow. A true story illustrates this.

A man noticed that weeds had grown in his house to such an extent that they were invading the small front garden. He decided to get rid of the damn weeds. He took his hoe, pulled up the bushes, chopped down the soil to kill the roots. Then, in the hole, he poured a powerful herbicide to destroy them completely. Finally, he filled the open hole with a lot of gravel that he firmly tamped down and covered it all with cement.

A few years later, the cement began to rise as shoots of weeds slowly re-emerged, pushing their way through the pavement. Its life principle, the blind pressure to survive and grow, could not be defeated with hoes, herbicides or cement.

The example serves us to meditate on such everyday experiences as the thirst for knowledge and knowledge, the desire to appear younger than we are, the insatiability to travel, the unconcealed addiction to medicines and drugs, the daydreams and idealisms of adolescents, the researchers who tirelessly test to satiety… Why don’t weeds die at all? Why do the hormones of our body and the agitations of our soul give us so little rest with their untiring drive?

Life breaks through and stretches forward. This is what Advent conveys to us with Isaiah’s message: “A shoot shall sprout from the stem of Jesse” (Isaiah 11:1). David’s dynasty is presented as a tree cut down, incapable of producing anything. But the old tree is not completely dead; the life of God is in it and, even if it is not noticed, God makes it grow and grow. And the prophet adds: “The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon it” (Is 11:2). Those longings that indicate discontent, dissatisfaction, frustrated hope…, that we live contemplating our life, our family, our churches, our world… are deep down the groanings of the Spirit of God who continues to encourage us from within so as not to let us die or disappear.

The Spirit directs the gaze of the soul towards the divine. Every life, every cosmic energy, every creature, every breathing being,… longs for justice, peace, wholeness, joy, union, faithfulness,… Whether it is weeds pushing their way through concrete, or a baby crying for milk, or a man and woman kneeling in supplication, they are showing a mysterious breath that keeps them alive and growing. Advent is the season to haunt those longings to allow the Spirit of God to bring us a Saviour.


Juan Carlos cmf

(PHOTO: Taha Mazandarani)



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