Jesus taught in parables. His examples may not resonate with our lived experience today. Many of us have never prepared the soil, planted seed and harvested wheat. Few take the time and effort to bake bread from scratch. How do we relate to Jesus’ parables? I’m sure we have heard many homilies and may even have studied the scriptures which definitely help us grow in understanding.
I believe the words from Wisdom in the first reading may help get to the heart of Jesus’ parables today. “There is no god besides you who have the care of all,” and “though you are master of might, you judge with clemency, and with much lenience you govern us;” God is indeed the Creator and righteous one. But God is also kind and merciful, slow to anger and just.
How do these readings go together? As Jesus explained to his disciples; there is good and evil growing together. Indeed each of us by our human nature has the potential for great good or for evil. The circumstances of our environment, culture as well as our emotional, psychological and spiritual growth help determine the choices we make daily. God gives us endless opportunities to make the loving, merciful and life-giving choices. Even though we fail and act unjustly, unkindly or unforgiving God continues to love us and call us to greater love and mercy. God never gives up on us as His beloved child. I believe God is hoping that each of us will make the loving choices. God wants all of us to become wheat and to be harvested and brought into His barn; His Kingdom.
Each thought, word and action I choose to have can be like that bit of yeast. I can be a positive, healing and loving person that brings good to my family, community and world. This would be like the yeast that makes the delicious loaf of fresh baked bread that nourishes and sustains. I could also choose to think, speak, and act with negative energy, spitefulness and mistrust. This would cause suffering, misunderstanding and pain for me and those who encounter me. It would be like the rotting even poisonous E-coli. The choice is mine. I have to ask myself each day; am I going to be the wheat or the weed? Am I going to be good leaven or not? God is patiently waiting for my choice. God, help me to be merciful, just and loving in all my choices today.
Jan Ginzkey, OSB