Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What does it mean to be among the wheat?

It's hard to trust when things are difficult.  As a child I was blessed with a good home.  We had more than we needed and parents who loved us.  Spanking and other forms of punishment were rare but respect was held in high esteem.  When things got rough we were always told "It'll get better."  It did.   It was hard to see that though during the rough times.   When mom and dad were both hurt and unable to work it seemed like we would never get our heads above the water.   It took a lot of effort to trust both them, and to trust God, that things would work out for good in the end.

I had a long conversation with a friend that reminded me of how hopeless things can seem.  Just turning on the news or watching one of the political conventions can truly make things seem as if they are going to Hell in a hand basket.  War, famine, terrorism, Mass killings, climate change deniers and climate change fear mongers.... where does one find hope?   Many years ago I spent all of my time sitting on the computer researching the 'end of the world.'   I was consumed with it.  I kept my mind so fixated on the negative things happening trying to tie them to this or that, that I never took time to truly fix my mind on God... on trust...  One is hopeless when they have no good to cling to.

When we read the Sacred Scriptures we see an overarching promise: God will provide!  He looks out for those who are poor and helpless.   He takes care of us in our time of need.   He cares for us more than we can fathom and He has promised that we will be among the wheat at the end of time when the harvest comes.  His Word has been planted in our hearts and we have become heirs to the promise that was given to David, a promise of an immortal Kingdom that will last forever.   Jesus in the Gospel, in explaining this parable to the disciples, gives them insight into something that should give us joy!  It should make us exuberant and our souls exulting with Hope in the promise of God himself!

What though does it mean to be wheat?  The children of the Devil are the false wheat it says, and the children of God the true wheat... How then can we tell the difference?   That's the thing about false wheat (Darnel), it's very hard to tell until it's ripe.  You see when wheat begins to ripen the grain begins to become too heavy for the shaft to support... so it begins to bow down.   Darnel doesn't do this... it remains upright.  The difference between real wheat and false wheat is that real wheat bows down.  It doesn't remain too proud, too egoistic, to self consumed to kneel in humility.  Are we being wheat then?  Are we kneeling before God and obeying His teachings as received by the Apostles?  Or are we doing things our own way?  Refusing to bend or submit?  Will you be the wheat or the chaff?

Today we are reminded of Saint Anne and Joachim, the mother and father of Mary, the grandparents of Jesus.   It is a day we should pray for our parents, for our grandparents, and for the humility to be like their daughter Mary.   May we learn to be like her in all things, the Immaculate Disciple who gave a complete and resounding Yes to God's plan in humility and love.   In all things she replied "Do whatever He tells you."  So call your parents, call your grandparents, call your children today and wish them love, wish them happiness, and pray for them that they too may have the grace to be His servant too.

His servant and yours,

"He must increase, I must decrease." 

A reflection on the readings for daily Mass for Tuesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time, the Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne: July 26, 2016.   Jeremiah 14:17-22, Psalm 79, The Holy Gospel According to Matthew 13:36-43