In the Gospel we find a passage showing Jesus walking with his disciples through fields of wheat while his hungry disciples were picking the ears of wheat and eating them. We even know that it happened on Saturday which was a Sabbath day. Thus we could say that the picture I mentioned captures something which did happen two thousand years ago when Jesus lived in the Holy Land.
However the Gospel for this Sunday, and the Gospel for last Sunday as well, reveals to us the mystery of Christ which extends beyond the boundaries of the Holy Land and the timeframe of his life there two thousand years ago. This mystery Christ illustrated through the two parables about the sower and the seed. He is the sower. In the parable we heard last Sunday he explained that the seed was his Holy Word which came to different kinds of people symbolized by different kinds of soil. In the Gospel today our blessed Lord speaks about the seed which are the people of his kingdom. The seed, his Holy Word as we heard last Sunday, makes a miracle that those who welcome it like the fertile ground become the seed themselves. They have been so transformed that there is no difference between what Christ proclaims and what they practice. ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.’ Thus the picture I mentioned before can be seen as what is happening before our very eyes. Christ the Lord walks through the filed of our own world. The picture reveals a present event as well.
My Dear Sisters and Brothers! The parable Jesus told us today is not idealistic. It captures the reality of evil present in our midst. Something we struggle to come to terms with. As Jesus explains to us evil is no by-product of what God has created. It is the result of the action of the evil one. Jesus also reminds us that evil is no abstract. Evil is not something which circulates in the air. Evil becomes apparent in the people who accept the lure of devil and allow it to posses them. ‘While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off.’ The darnel is weed which at the beginning looks like wheat. Only after some time of growing they can be told apart. However even when the people who have been lured by the evil one are identified Jesus forbids removing them. This will be the task of his angels at the time of harvest when he returns is his glory to judge the living and the dead. The task of his Church now is to heal the darnel so it may not only resemble the good seed but to become good seed too. The medicine comes from two other short parables we have heard today.
The first parable was of a mustard seed which ‘is the smallest of all the seeds.’ However when ‘it has grown it is the biggest shrub of all and becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and shelter in its branches.’ Two thousand years ago on the Golgotha a small mustard seed was planted. It was the cross onto which the Son of God was nailed. Such an insignificant carpentry item. Definitely it didn’t resemble some other work of human hands like the Great Wall of China which can be seen from the space. It was the cross on which there was barely room for one person. However this cross has grown in a mysterious way. Over millennia generations of people who have suffered physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, morally, etc. have been turning to this cross of Jesus on which there is room for everyone. I call you who are listening today: turn to this cross of Jesus too. There is room for you too. Believe in the redeeming power of the one who was hung upon it.
The second parable was of ‘the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.’ When the dead body of Jesus was taken down from the cross some good people placed it in the tomb of Nikodemus. However through their act of kindness the invisible but merciful hand of the Heavenly Father was at work. The Heavenly Father, like that woman from the parable, placed the Body of his Son in the history of humankind and in the history of every woman and man. This Body in God’s plan was not placed in the tomb to decompose but to be the leaven. When the Lord Jesus rose from the dead on the third day he began leavening those individuals and communities which welcome him.
Some time ago I came across a loaf of bread on which was written that some thirty-year-old leaven was used to make it. I am aware that some bread makers boast using leaven which is even older. Two thousand years ago God has placed in the midst of humankind leaven which was eternal. It was his Son Jesus Christ. I call you who are listening today: Believe that the Lord Jesus has risen. Accept this Good News of his Resurrection so that you too and our community can be ‘leavened all through.’ We will be leavened by leaven which comes from the Holy Trinity. We will be leavened by this leaven to have in us the life eternal.
The picture of Christ walking through fields of wheat… What a powerful and lifegiving picture it is!