Greetings friends and welcome! I am glad you decided to read this reflection on this Sunday’s Gospel reading. Jesus speaks about the Kingdom of Heaven and describes it with a story of sowing and reaping. Please accompany me as I read the first 7 verses.
The Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew the 13th chapter (13:24-30)
Glory to you, oh Lord!
He put before them another parable: “The Kingdom of Heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ He answered, “An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’ ”
The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, oh Christ!
Grace and peace are yours from God our Father, and his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
I am not going to support one party line or the other with my message today, as we each have our opinions and most of us have made up our minds. Therefore, I want to share about the kingdom Jesus was talking about: the Kingdom of Heaven. A kingdom for the here and now, and for the there and after as well, and the divisive impact of God’s Empire. He compares the Kingdom of heaven with someone who sowed good seed in a field and an enemy came and sowed weeds and they grew together. There is a clear warning about the dangers of dichotomies such as “us or them”, “body or soul”, “good or evil”, “black or white”. By us using them we would be splitting our world in two realms. We still do the same now, Republicans or Democrats, Liberals or Conservatives, to wear face masks or not wearing face masks, those wanting to open our schools or those that don’t want to open our schools. Is it really that simple as good or bad people?
I remember Bishop Mike Rinehart of the Gulf Coast Synod once preaching about this and quoting Martin Luther calling us a “Corpus Mixtum” a mixed bag, because we are not all good or not all bad. What if in that fire expressed at the end of the Gospel all our bad is burnt leaving only the good in us? Even more, the sower told the slaves to “let both of them grow together”. Did you hear? Let both of them grow together! It speaks about the diversity that there is in the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth and even in this time. This parable of the weeds and the wheat growing together is a call for us to seek to live peaceably, seeking justice, but accepting that our diversity is necessary. May God help us live in unity amongst our diversity because …we need each other to survive. Amen.
Let us pray,
Loving and caring God, some of us are watching every word we say. In some cases, to advocate for those suffering injustice. Other times being careful not to offend those we love. Forgive us our sin of stigmatizing ourselves, of dividing ourselves, and forgetting that we need each other. Give us your grace to respect each other. Help us not to use lies, violent language or actions to impose our points of views. Instill in us the need for each other, accepting our differences for the sake of your Kingdom. Begin burning our bad weeds now and develop your good harvest in us. We pray all these things through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God now and forever. Amen.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate if you could leave a comment below, and if you’re on YouTube, please subscribe! Until next time stay with God’s blessing,
The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord’s face shine on you with grace and mercy.
The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace! Amen.
+ Bp. Pedro
The Rev. Pedro M. Suarez, Bishop
Florida-Bahamas Synod, ELCA