Scripture: Lectionary 107: Wisdom 12:13.16-19. Psalm 86:5-6.9-10.15-16.
Romans 8:26-27. Matthew 13:24-33
Lord, you give us good ground for planting the little seeds of hope into
our hearts that we may become the harvest of the Church. We pray that we
may realize that the kingdom of heaven is within us and that it is greater
than the Church leading ultimately to our being within your presence and
that of all the holy ones who have gone before us and are sons and
daughters shining like the sun before your heavenly throne. We thank you
for your Son, Jesus, who helps us to deepen our growth like the seeds of
wheat, mustard, and like the leaven the woman used in baking her bread.
This is the grace we ask for on this Sunday.
Jesus, your three teachings done in the parables are the same. They only
confirm the message you are giving us as we celebrate your Presence in Word
and Sacrament. By receiving your word as a seed we are able to fulfill the
purpose for which that seed was sown. We pray with you, “May the Father in
Heaven bring us into his kingdom, and may his will be done.”
St. Matthew gives us these parables but he is not entirely alone in handing
them on to us. His first parable about the wheat and the weeds (tares) is
special to him; the second parable about the mustard seed he shares with
Luke and Mark. The third parable he has in common with Luke probably
because both drew from a common oral tradition and source (Q Source).
By hearing the message three times we are liable to grasp its meaning and
even deepen our understanding of your use of the symbolic yet real gift of
a seed. Matthew develops the teaching through uniting the parable in our
passage for today and walks us through the important message each parable
has. Though it is the same lesson we are led by the different examples to
assimilate it better and to make it a part of our life that is already in
possession of the seed of life for the “kingdom of heaven (or kingdom of
God) is within us. Jesus is the perfect teacher in Matthew who accomplishes
through these parables what he wants us to learn. “Repetitio est Mater
Lectionis” or by going over the same lesson three times we become masters
ourselves of the lesson that we now can teach to children and to others.
As the members of the Church we are to be the good wheat, the mustard seed,
and the leaven. These different seeds have been sown in our hearts
(perhaps similar to faith, hope, and love received at Baptism). We then
realize that the kingdom of God is already happening within us and within
the whole of the Church. We become the abundant harvest of wheat, the
Church as the all embracing mustard “tree” and finally the mysterious
quality of leaven in bread.
We may unite these thoughts to one of the earliest reflections on the
Eucharist found in the Teaching of the Twelve or the Didache (Teaching) of
the Apostles: “As this broken bread was scattered on the mountains, but
brought together was made one, so gather your Church from the ends of the
earth into your kingdom. For yours is the glory and the power through Jesus
Christ forever.” Amen.