In the First reading taken from the book of Wisdom 12: 16-19, it is said that the kind of judgement we’re going to receive depends not on the scales of godless justice but on the mercy and love of God for those who strive to live a life of love.
The second reading, from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans 8:26-27, tells us about the work of the Spirit who helps us in our weakness to pray and, at the same time, intercedes for us before God.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus offers three parables to describe the Kingdom of Heaven. He also explains why he speaks to the crowds in parables and interprets the parable of the sower for the disciples. This reading is a continuation of Jesus’ discourse that we began reading last Sunday.
All three parables describe the aspects of the Kingdom of Heaven. We could notice that the first parable is longer and more detailed than the next two. It shows us the two-fold reality of the Kingdom of Heaven, that is, the beginnings of the Kingdom of Heaven that can be found in this world. The second fold is the fruition of the Kingdom of Heaven, however, will not be realized until the final judgment which is in God’s hand.
The second and third parables call our attention upon the abundance that will result from the small beginnings of the Kingdom of Heaven that brings the expansion and full bloom of God’s kingdom. The small amount of yeast will leaven the entire batch of bread and the mustard seed, although the smallest among all the seeds, becomes large bush where the birds can dwell.
In the parable of the mustard seed, sower and the yeast, we are consoled by the message that God can work wonders and produce abundance from even the smallest beginnings of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The present situation of our world, especially now, when all of us are affected with the on-going coronavirus or covid 19, brought to us fear, stress, sickness, loss of loved one’s, loss of job and most of all, change in our style of life and routine. There is no physical contact because of the need of physical social distancing, and wearing of face mask, face shield and N95. We are now in the “New Normal.” But then, on the other hand, it has a positive effect to everybody. Noticing, that many houses bloom with a beautiful, greenly plants in every garden. For this we could say that there is always light in the midst of darkness. There is always hope in every failure. This pandemic that we are all experiencing, is not a dark night to be called by many because it brought good new and salvation to all. It is like a dark night of St. John of the Cross. “Holy darkness, blessed night, heaven answer hidden from our sight. As we await you, oh God of silence, we embrace your holy night.” It seems God didn’t hear our prayer. It seems God is silent but He is not. He is present in our midst. The present situation becomes a way for all of us to seek Him in our situation. Look at those people dedicated their life to the welfare of the other, our front liners. We heard and we too experienced the moments of bonding with the member of our family. We are able to give time, rather more time, to be with them. Many of us discovered our talents, our creativity, just like me. We are able to enjoy the moment of exploring during this time. Isn’t it really great?
Our reading really brought consolation to each one of us. The gospel reading talks about the Kingdom of Heaven. Our world is the Kingdom of Heaven where He dwells among us. He is present in each one of us. As I look at every details of the Gospel, I find out that even if we live in the “bed of roses”, still we are not free from the thorn of the rose. The flower of rose and the thorn are complementing to make rose a rose. In life, the good and the bad, the sacred and the profane tend to live side by side. It is as if they could not exist without one another. The more renowned the place as a center of holiness, the more commercialism and consumerism is attracted around it giving rise to many commercial pursuits in support of the holy activities. It’s just like the more our front liners are doing their best to minimize the victim, the more people who has no concerned become hard headed in not following the protocols. They only focus in themselves. They don’t care for the welfare of others. So, the numbers are increasing and many hospital are fully occupied.
In the parable of the good sower, whose work was sabotaged by the enemy who sowed weeds among the wheat, we could see how in this situation our God is actively present in each one of us. We are sometimes caught in feeling sorry for what we have done, because the Spirit of God intercedes for us to acknowledge our wrong doing. What the situation is telling to us is that we need to be more patient and seek the face of God in everything. Let us be women for all and ignite our heart in love.
Pandemic, the Gospel, the kingdom of heaven and our present situation. The Gospel teaches us to go with the flow of water, but living a meaningful life. Even in the “New Normal”, we should strive to make things Normal ones, were we are continuously in harmony with everybody, doing good to all and being patient with the situation. It’s good to find means to be able to overcome the situation and make the sun shine so bright in our life. Instead of asking: why God is allowing bad things to happen in our lives, let’s find means and way to live this negative in a positive way. Try to strive to make our wheat outgrow our weeds inside by being patient and doing good, and finding God in everything, and being women for others, for the glory of God. For this way, we too may be able to be an example for others in building the Kingdom of Heaven, and also for ourselves as a key to our own kingdom of Heaven. God bless us all!