Saturday, September 22, 2018
Today, in Mercy, both Paul and Jesus teach their followers by using images they would be familiar with – seed, wheat, planting, and waiting for harvest.
Even those of us far removed from such images may have planted a few things at some time. Picture a kindergartner pushing a seed into a paper cup filled with dirt. She watches everyday for the green shoot, impatient for its appearance.
Paul’s community seems infected with the same kind of impatience regarding the end of time and their being raised to new life.
Paul makes me laugh with his own impatience at their constant questions. He responds to their nagging like this:
What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies.
And what you sow is not the body that is to be
but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind.
Jesus is a lot gentler when he teaches about the Sower and the Seed. At the end of the parable, Jesus gives his followers the key to achieving the full harvest of grace. Perseverance!
It is the same tool any farmer must employ in the fields. It is the same strategy we must use as we sow good works through our lives. The harvest is slow coming, but Jesus promises it is worth the investment and the waiting.
Music: When You Believe~ sung by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey
July 27, 2018
Today, in Mercy, we begin about a two-week cycle of readings from Jeremiah and Matthew. Hand-in-hand, these call us to repentance, then show us the way to holiness.
Today, we think about Matthew. These readings are parts of the Third Discourse of his Gospel. It is sometimes referred to as the Discourse of Secrets because in it, Jesus teaches in riddles or parables.
Today’s parable is a familiar one – the sower and the seed. The image would have resonated easily with Jesus’s agrarian audience – and the green-thumbed among us! “Sow your seed on good soil or it will bear no harvest.”
Good soil doesn’t just happen. It takes work and vigilance to prepare a garden patch. This is the core of Jesus’ message – this is the secret of heaven:
- Clear the rocks
- Loosen clumped resistances
- Feed and nurture
- Check constantly for invasive weeds
So today, let’s:
- Check our hearts for anything that blocks our openness to the Spirit
- Examine any crippling prejudices we might be holding on to
- Be sure we are feeding our souls with good spiritual reading and quiet reflection
- Be aware of anything that pulls us away from kindness, truth, and love
Music: Planting Seeds : A Song of Life by Empty Hands Music