Yesterday’s (20/07/2014) gospel reading touched on another parable that Jesus had told the crowds regarding the “parable of the sower”. It highlighted the sowing of the good seed and the enemy who came and sowed the bad seed that manifested as weeds which threatened the harvest. The sower did not destroy the weeds immediately but will wait till the harvest when the sower will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning but gather the wheat into my barn.”(Matthew 13:27). Parables give me a better and deeper understanding of the message that Jesus is trying to tell us through simple illustrations.
The first parable touched on the sower (Jesus) and the enemy (Satan) who threatened the very existence of goodness that Jesus had planted in each of us. The enemy strikes at a time when people have their guard down and when evil occupies their hearts, minds and life. This evil which manifests itself in temptation and sin has caused us to do the wrong things but Jesus tells us that we still have the chance to repent before the final judgement when he will gather only those who have repented and sought redemption. Jesus is very patient with us and the world as he gives us time to change our ways and to turn away from sin.
The second parable, Jesus tells the crowd, concerns the kingdom of heaven which is similar to a mustard seed, the size of a full-stop on paper. To us, the kingdom of heaven maybe insignificant as we might still be enjoying life on earth. But life on earth is short and at the end of the day, we need to nurture our spiritual self and our Catholic faith so that it becomes a part of our lives and we bear fruit that can help others who want to be saved. In the third parable, Jesus likens the kingdom of heaven to wheat flour which is mixed till it becomes leavened. Jesus is telling us that everyone who follows him will get the same equal reward of eternal life.
The world is currently in chaos and darkness as news of tragic disasters, countries on the brink of war, terrorism have made people feel that goodness is absent from the world and evil is so strong. However, Jesus always reminds us that he will have the final victory and good will always triumph over evil. But we should not take Jesus’s patience and forgiveness for granted as we should start now to love again, forgive again and start living a life of goodness unto others. Every weekend when we attend mass, at least we should let God’s word and message take root in our heart. This simple message will help us to lead our life and give us direction together with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We must not allow evil to take control of our hearts as in the end, God will separate good from evil according to what was sown and reaped from our lives. Will we reap a good or bad harvest?
We each received a mustard seed in our hearts when we accepted God in the beginning through the journey with him through baptism, first holy communion and reconciliation, our catechism journey and confirmation. Being receptive and living out God’s word will protect us from the evils of the world and to help us to pass the message of God to others so that they can repent from sin. The world is a complex and scary place at times especially through people’s influences that shape our mindset and our actions which can be wrong. We need to be discerning and listen to God’s word and know right from wrong as in reality, evil will always be there. To be able to choose is good. This choice will be humanity’s redemption or downfall and Jesus is always there to help us come back to him and to the church, despite our sins.
Jesus tells us the reality of the situation and the things that the world is currently experiencing to let us know that despite all the evil and sadness, there is still hope and redemption in him, his goodness. I pray for the conflicts of countries to be resolved through peaceful means and that the victims of both MH-370 and MH-17 find comfort and consolation through God’s grace and the people around them in their difficult moments and that justice be meted out on the perpetrators as innocent lives were lost. The love and mercy of Jesus must be present in our hearts and actions so that we can save those who are lost and pray for the redemption of this fallen secular world that God’s grace and mercy will guide the people back on the right path and make the right decisions to help instead of destroy. God gives us the time for repentance and redemption so let us make use of this chance wisely before it is too late to do so.
God Bless and keep the Word of God in our hearts, actions and lives!
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong