Prayer: O Jesus, I will use my life for your judgment.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)
In Jesus time, three groups tried to form the perfect religious community of Israel – the Pharisees, the Essenes, and surprisingly, John the Baptist. All of Jesus’ actions went against this idea. For Jesus, God’s community on earth would be very mixed. Only at the end would God do two things. He would remove the sinful and glorify the just.
In this parable, the master has two reasons for the delay. First, the servants will make mistakes, not seeing what is weed and what is wheat. Secondly, the time for this separation is at the end. Until then, will the true community be revealed. There must be time for repentance.
The fishermen with their nets know to wait until the end. Certainly God waits patiently, but a time of judgment comes both for gathering the harvest and for pulling in the net.
Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
The Kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. While his men were asleep, an enemy sowed weeds among the wheat. When the blade brought forth the wheat, the weeds also appeared.
His servants said to the man, “Sir, did you not sow good seed? Where did the weeds come from?” He said, “An enemy has done this. The servants asked, “Should we gather up the weeds?” “No”, he said. “Perhaps in gathering the weeds, you will also root up the wheat. Let both grow to harvest time. Then I will say to the reapers, “First gather the weeds for the fire. Then, gather the wheat into the barns.”
The Kingdom of heaven is like a net cast into the sea, which catches all kinds of fish. When it is full, the men set it on the shore. They place the good fish in their buckets. The bad they throw away. So it shall be at the end of the world. The angels shall separate the just from the unjust.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The servants would purify the field immediately. This would destroy the harvest.
- The fishermen are much wiser. They let the net catch all kinds of fish.
- Only when they have completed their work, do they reject the bad.
- This symbolizes the final purification of the Christian community. It is postponed, but inevitable.
- These parables describe God’s plan. Each person has time to be purified and be made ready for the final judgment.
- God alone has fixed the time for the end of your human life. He gives you time to get ready.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Lord, you give me days and years of life.
- You are the patient farmer and the wise fisherman.
- You hold back your wrath. You do not root me up. You give me time.
- When the day of your harvest comes, may I be wheat, and not weeds.
- When your net gathers me in, may you retain me for your Kingdom.
- So much is at stake when your angels separate the just and the unjust!
- I will prepare, Jesus. I want to be with you.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will rejoice in God’s patience with me.
- I will use today for the Kingdom.
Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
At the end of the world, the angels will separate the just from the unjust.