Scripture: Lectionary 448. Sept 21. I Timothy 6:13-16. Psalm 100:184.108.40.206. Luke 8:4-15:
There is a mention of Pontius Pilate in I Timothy as the epistle comes to an end. This is an attestation about the trial of Jesus before Pilate and is another historical fact that associates Jesus in his active ministry during the time in which Pilate was a Roman procurator in Jerusalem. There is evidence also of the historical Pilate on a stone found near Caesarea on the seacoast of Israel. Biblical chronology is important for helping us to understand the time of the prophets and certainly here of Jesus himself. The reference helps to show people who are only interested in the historical Jesus that he was “for real.” More important is the viewpoint that we Christians have of Jesus after his resurrection affirming that he is Lord and our Savior. We look at him more from the perspective of another type of time called Kairos not Chronos. Both blend well when we realize that God works quietly within the history of the world with the saving power of Jesus Christ who is revered as the Son of God and Savior of the world. Liturgical readings and the history of salvation are more within this Kairos consideration of how things really are in God’s sight.
If we are busy looking at our IPhone or our watch during the liturgy we are more interested in our self and in what is Chronos than Kairos. The latter is more of a contemplative and prayerful attention at Mass that is timeless and peaceful. We are anxious about many things, but only one thing matters, our attentiveness to the Lord’s presence among us. Paul, or the author of I Timothy, mention the appearance of God with the Risen Jesus. This gives us the Kairos perspective of eternal time.. The Book of Revelation is set within a Kairos framework; those who try to make it a chronos prediction of what is happening now in the Middle East are missing the inspired intention of the writer which is God Alone is to be Worshipped. He is not speaking about history that is happening today but about the true spirit of Jesus working at the time he was writing for the seven churches of the Apocalypse.
We have this Kairos ending in I Timothy: “To him (Jesus) be honor and everlasting rule. Amen.”
The Psalm antiphon and the verses after it put us into the presence of God while we celebrate the liturgical readings and enter into the mystery of our faith. We are being called to celebrate with joy the presence of the Lord. (Psalm 100:2).
The Gospel gives us the parable of the farmer sowing seeds randomly in the field. This may have been the first parable Jesus spoke. It would be Mark who gave us it for the first time in Mark 4:1-25. Father Karras, a Lucan scholar gives us the following insight on how to read the 50 parables of Luke: “It is a hallmark of Lucan discipleship that disciples not only hear the parables of God’s kingdom, but are the recipients of the singular grace of knowing what God’s kingdom means for everyday Christian living.” Here is where chronos and Kairos blend.
I interpret this parable as our way of responding with generosity to the word of God by receiving its message with an open heart and mind that helps us produce spiritual and apostolic fruit in abundance. We are invited to be people of profound interior prayer who are led to persevere in doing what we learn from the word of God. It is our perseverance that leads to such abundance the good seed produces. As St. Benedict says in the Prologue of his Rule: “We are to listen with the ears of our heart to the Master’s instruction.” Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.