MORE THAN LOOKING THE PART

Last Sunday, Jesus told a parable about a man sowing seed. What the seed produced depended upon where it landed. In explaining the parable, Jesus said that the seed was the word of God. How people accepted that word determined the difference it would make in their lives.

In this Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 13:24-43), Jesus tells another parable about a man sowing seed. He plants good seed, but an enemy comes at night and sows bad seed. When the seeds begin to grow rather than seeing the wheat he expected, the farmer also sees weeds. Weeds that look like wheat.

We might think that as it did last Sunday, the good seed represents the word of God, the message of the Gospel preached by the Church. And the bad seed represents the contrary message spread by the devil and by a society opposed to the values of the Gospel.

However, Jesus gives another meaning to the seed. Jesus explains that “he who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom.”

We are among that good seed, made so in the sacrament of baptism. There we were recognized as children of God, enlightened by Christ, and filled with the Holy Spirit. We were made Christians, members of God’s kingdom.

As Christians, we are not supposed to just “look the part.” We are not to be like the weeds that only mimicked the look of the desired wheat. We are not to be Christians in name only, who lead others astray by our bad example and by our failure to live as authentic followers of Christ.

Jesus has planted us in the field of this world so that we might help God’s kingdom to blossom and that we might leaven society with our acts of mercy and love.

The time will come when the Lord will judge if we have done what was expected of good seed. As Jesus tells us, righteous who have produced good fruit “will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”

While those who have done evil and caused others to do the same will be thrown “into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and the grinding of teeth.”

May we not disappoint the “Divine Farmer” who has sown us in this world.

© 2020 Rev. Thomas B. Iwanowski