The prayer group decided to have a plant sale, to raise funds for the parish. How could the pastor, Father Diotrophes object to that? He couldn't think of any good reason to object, but he knew he was going to wish he could say no. Whatever this prayer group attempted to do always involved him and trouble.
The day came. They didn’t have much, just one table of plants. Most of them were sold at Saturday’s Mass. The early morning Sunday Mass left only a few sickly plants and Father suggested that they end the sale and dispose of those plants.
He thought they did.
They didn’t. They thought it was such a waste to throw away living plants, so they planted them in the garden --the pastor’s garden. The prayer group thought the pastor would like these plants. They’re called bishop’s weed.
Little did they know that bishop’s weed is notorious for taking over a garden. Bishop’s weed grows quickly and chokes out the other plants. Lucky for the prayer group, Father Diotrophes never could figure out how the goutweed came to his garden. He had a dickens of a time trying to dig it out. In addition, somehow the pastor picked up poison ivy.
While the pastor labored to rid his garden of the weeds, the prayer group was reminded of Matt. 13:24-30, the parable of the weeds being planted among the wheat. The farmer let them both grow together. At the end of the season, the wheat could be easily distinguished from the weeds, and so the wheat was harvested.
In this case however, the native garden plants weren't allowed to grow because the bishop’s weed/goutweed, choked everything in its way. The prayer group was wise to stay under the radar, in this case.