Doing our part until ‘harvest time’
By Anne Marie Richardson
Jesus continues to teach the crowds and His disciples the truths of living in the Kingdom of Heaven, and as He further engages them in this His third discourse, He brings them into the story of the wheat and the weeds.
He tells the story of a sower whose good crop was immediately set upon with bad seed from the enemy in the dead of night. When told, the master wisely denied his labourers the satisfaction of uprooting the weeds immediately; rather he advised that they both be left to flourish side by side till harvest time when the weeds would be easily identifiable.
He went on to share another story of the mustard seed which, despite its tiny size when planted, became the largest of the trees, affording shade to numerous birds when it came to full growth. Similarly, the grain of yeast seemed so insignificant when its miniscule portion was added to the flour, but its resulting yield was a testament to the quality of the yeast and to its impact in the mix.
Once again, His disciples sought His counsel on the meaning of the parable of the wheat and the weeds. Using agricultural symbolism, He showed them that, once ‘planted’ on the earth, it is not up to an individual to decide another’s place in the scheme of things.
That final decision of one’s place in the Kingdom is God’s and His alone. It is up to each person to establish a relationship with God, through His Son, Jesus, and to live according to His dictates to ensure their place in the Kingdom.
All must coexist until harvest time when the reaper would separate the good from the bad, and each would be located in their own deserved space.
In speaking the language of the parable, Jesus is opening His disciples’ minds to the fact that there would be unbelievably great things in store for the Kingdom; He is hinting that there would be unprecedented growth of a kind that they could not comprehend.
They could not envision it at that time, but this tiny mustard seed that He was sowing would defy all odds and grow into a movement that would withstand all attempts to destroy it.
In Chapter 5 of the Book of the Acts, the Pharisees were confounded by the rapidly evolving movement of the Holy Spirit, and Peter and the disciples were being imprisoned as a result. The much-respected Pharisee, Gamaliel, in 34–39, had advised they be left alone. He had said that the new movement would self destruct if it were not of God.
Today, more than 20 centuries later, despite all challenges, that yeast is still rising as the Word of God relentlessly makes its way ‘to the ends of the earth’ (Acts 1:8).
The spread of the Kingdom is our responsibility in so much as we do the part to which we are each assigned—the teacher to teach; the preacher to preach; as well as the doctor and the gardener—to each his/her own.
We are to work with each other and facilitate one another so that the glory of God could be made manifest through both our individual and our collective pursuits (1 Cor:12). We must remember that God makes the rain fall on the just and the unjust (Matt 5:45); it is all according to His will.
He desires all to be saved and to come to full knowledge of Him (1 Tim 2:4) so that we could each assume our rightful place in the Kingdom of Heaven. Let us reflect!
The gospel meditations for July are by Anne Marie Richardson, a retired educator, and a parishioner of the Santa Rosa/Malabar cluster.