Passages: Isaiah 2:5-11; Romans 8:30-10:4; Matthew 13:24-30
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen!
When we look to the world around us, in politics, in our communities, our neighborhoods and even within our social circles and families, especially as Christian’s, we can’t help but ask when did so much go wrong? When did we deviate from a more innocent, simple, pure and virtuous life and go into a life of division, isolation, depression and pain? Which moment was it in history that the slippery slope became a reality? To use today’s biblical image, when did the bad seeds get mixed in with the good seeds? However, the question my dears we should be asking is not when did something bad happened, because we know that Satan is always actively working to entrap, entice and cheat us away from God; and so rather, we should be asking why did we and do we let it happen?
We know from today’s parable that God, our Heavenly and merciful Father, only sowed that which is good. We see that God even knowing that the weeds are present, continues to tend to all the seeds until the time of harvest. God allows each seed to bear fruit. And the reason for this is because God knows that that which is good will produce good. So my dears, God is telling us, don’t worry about the product of the evil seeds, rather, make certain we produce good fruits. How?
The well known educator and American author Stephen Covey states that, “I am not a product of my circumstances. I’m a product of my decisions.” In other words, it is the life we live, the choices we make, the things we place our hope in that ultimately shape the fruit we produce. Too many of us, even those of us who attend Church and volunteer regularly, still place our hope and trust in things apart from God. We follow superstition, we follow horoscopes, we follow political party lines, we follow and base our life on that which gives us momentary pleasure thinking that is what will give meaning and purpose to our lives. Yet, when our fruits spoil and we fail, we ask why and how as we look to blame everyone and everything else. But this cannot be the way for us who call ourselves children of God.
Neither can we blame God for when temptation, failure, hopelessness, and all other types of grievances surround us, because it is we who have created the circumstance in which those evil seeds are producing fruit in our lives. We have surrounded ourselves and fill our lives with ungodliness, unrighteousness and darkened the path which our Lord lay before us in light. As proverbial saying goes, “tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are” or as St. Paul says 1 Corinthians, “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”(15:33). Rather, what we can do, what we are called to do is accept the care of our Lord and answer the call of Isaiah who says, “Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” (v.5) We must understand that no matter what we fail to do here on earth, no matter how much we are broken and defeated and the storms comes crashing down around us, no matter how many evil seeds blossom around us, God our Father is our Lord and He is the Gardner who tends to us. When we stay true to Him by following His commandments, by being merciful, humble, prayerful and loving than nothing will separate us from God, as St. Paul teaches, and what is more, we will produce fruits that will not spoil for they are for eternity.
My dears, instead of seeking someone or something to blame for the ugliness of this world, we should look at ourselves and ask how can we make this world more beautiful? What can we do to make the circumstances of this world, the environment that we live in, that we raise our children in, that we spend our hours and days in, better and more productive so that the seeds that God has planted may bear good fruit? How can we serve God, as we were called to do through His creation beginning from Adam and Eve? My dears, to serve God does not mean to wear a collar, sign a check to the Church or even to point out ugliness in this world. To serve God we must act out of love, be prayerful and merciful in everything we do. If we see wrong, we correct it through love and compassion; if we see someone in need of help, we do so through empathy and humility; if we need help or are in the wrong, we repent of our ways, seek forgiveness and come back to God.
Our Lord God will receive us and all those who seek Him and this world, which is already watching us, will ask us how is it that we are not deviating from purity, innocence, and virtue. For the good seeds that God has planted will always give good fruit and “The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled, and human pride brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” (v. 10) Amen!