JESUS PROPOSED ANOTHER PARABLE TO THE CROWDS
A Parable is a story full of illustrations from daily life that compares the things of heaven with things of earth. Its purpose is to reveal mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. Another way of saying it this is: a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. In today’s gospel Jesus proposes not one but three parables to you. Each parable begins with the phrase:
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE
The Kingdom of Heaven is not a kingdom like Great Britain, whose monarch is a figurehead. The Kingdom of Heaven is not a kingdom with a self-declared monarch like Napoleon of France. The Kingdom of Heaven is certainly not a democracy, like the USA, where the will of the majority is the Law of the land. The Kingdom of heaven is the Reign and the rule of God. He alone reigns because He is the maker of heaven and earth; He is the Father of all; He alone is Lord; His word is Law. And while His reign and authority are absolute, neither is the Kingdom Heaven a reign of tyranny. As you heard in the 1st Reading (Wis 12:13, 16-19), His might is the source of justice, Yet He judges with clemency, and He governs us with much lenience. Let us look then at the three parables beginning with the second, the third and then we’ll come back to the first:
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE A MUSTARD SEED
The smallest of seeds sown in the field growing into the largest of trees speaks of the sudden, surprising, and unexpected growth of God’s kingdom throughout history. You have seen this type of growth here at the parish. One year ago there were fewer than two hundred families. More than eighty families have joined the parish – a forty percent increase – and I assure you it is not because of Fr. Bob’s or my good looks or athletic builds.
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE YEAST MIXED WITH THREE MEASURES OF WHEAT FLOUR
The growth of the Kingdom of God, like the work of the yeast, is hidden but thorough. The kingdom of God contains within it the power that can renew and transform the whole world. This type of growth is hidden within each of you also. It is the power to transform a young man addicted to alcohol and drugs to a follower of Christ; it has the power to transform the life of a sinful woman into a woman who loves the Lord with all her heart and soul. And it has the power to transform your lives as well! Let’s return now to the first parable.
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN MAY BE LIKENED TO A MAN
Jesus is speaking of Himself, the Son of Man. He is the One who came from the bosom of the Father when the Word became flesh. He dwelt among us and was like us in every way but sin. This was an absolutely singular and unique event: God became Man in Jesus and in no one else. WHO SOWED GOOD SEED IN HIS FIELD
The good seed are the children of the kingdom those who received Him, who believed in Him, He gave power to become children of God (Jn 1:12). When you receive Him in Holy Communion He will come into your body. Believe in Him and invite Him into your heart and mind and like leaven He will begin the work of transformation in your life.
WHILE EVERYONE WAS ASLEEP HIS ENEMY CAME
The enemy is the devil, and he works at night. Like I’ve told my children many times: nothing good ever happens after midnight. So stay alert and be watchful.
AND SOWED WEEDS ALL THROUGH THE WHEAT
The weed referred to is darnel, which when young is amazingly similar in appearance to wheat. The devil sows in such a way so as to mix in error with truth. And the error, or the lie, is of course, presented as a good – just like he lied to Eve who saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom (Gen 3:5).
WHERE HAVE THE WEEDS COME FROM?
Or, why is there evil in the world? Why is the church filled with both saints and sinners? Even closer to home – why is there both good and evil in my life and yours? Here is the point, I believe, of the parable, the mystery of why God allows both good and evil:
HE REPLIED, ‘NO, IF YOU PULL UP THE WEEDS YOU MIGHT UPROOT THE WHEAT ALONG WITH THEM
The point of this parable is the incredible and enduring patience and mercy of God. He wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth (1Tim 2:4). Because God is slow to anger, (and) abounding in kindness, the final sorting will come when Christ Jesus appears in all his glory . . .
AT HARVEST TIME I WILL SAY TO THE HARVESTERS: COLLECT THE WEEDS AND TIE THEM IN BUNDLES FOR BURNING
There will be a time of judgment: the weeds will be pulled from the wheat; the goats separated from the sheep; and the sinner from the righteous – we will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. So, brothers and sisters, let us live our lives for Him. And when the time comes may you hear the master say:
GATHER THE WHEAT INTO MY BARN . . .
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time + Year A ’11
July 16, 2011 by deaconsteve
JESUS PROPOSED ANOTHER PARABLE TO THE CROWDS