Tag Archives: Sixteenth Sunday Year A

Seventeenth Sunday Year A: Exposing the human heart

Parable of the hidden treasure Rembrandt

Rembrandt’s painting of the parable

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found…”

The treasure is Jesus.

He’s hidden. But God is hidden only to the degree of our spiritual progress.

The field is the Church.

So, Jesus is hidden in the Church.

The “someone” in the field is every single man and woman on the planet.

Finding the treasure is encountering Jesus.

Selling everything you own to buy the field has several meanings.

You must buy the field, you can’t steal the treasure. Cheating doesn’t work!

The treasure doesn’t come without the field. Jesus doesn’t come without the Church. You don’t just buy-in to the Church, you buy it! You give your life.

It’s a cost you’ll pay willingly, voluntarily, gladly, joyfully and expectantly, you’ll jump at it provided you can see the treasure… not unlike a business man selling so that he can buy to make a killing!

Using the parable what can we work out about those who’ve left the Church?

They were in the field but left it… perhaps they didn’t like something in the field, or someone, perhaps they couldn’t see anything but a bog…

However, according to the parable the real reason people leave the field is that they didn’t find the treasure. Perhaps they didn’t even know there was treasure in it – perhaps they still don’t know!

Simple. The whole God question is very simple, mysterious, but very simple.

Sixteenth Sunday Year A: What good is anything if you’ve nowhere to go?

IMG_1479God in his essence is simple. He’s clouded in mystery and we mistake the mystery for difficulty but God is not difficult… as the parables reveal.

The kingdom of God on earth may be compared to a field of wheat and weeds…

This is a very startling way to describe the kingdom of God on earth.

We think there shouldn’t be any weeds in the Church, never mind the kingdom of God!

Yet here, two thousand years ago, Christ tells us what his kingdom on earth looks like… a field of wheat and weeds.

Would you have used such an image to describe the kingdom of God? I don’t think you would. We’re very good at imposing our kingdom on God’s kingdom! It doesn’t work.

Here’s another question: If we’re willing to disassociate ourselves from the Church because of the presence of weeds then how can we possibly know anything of the kingdom of God as understood by Jesus – anything of this kingdom?

Two thousand years have come and gone and we still haven’t understood this.

He makes an interesting observation about the danger of weeding out the weeds – some of the wheat will come with it. It happens – to this day.

Most interesting though is his assertion that at harvest time it’ll be sorted.

Here Jesus indicates – as he often did – that there is ultimate justice.

This means that there is no future in a life of sin.

It means there is no such thing as ‘getting away with it’ – ‘getting away with it’ is temporary, a short reprieve, like the weeds growing with the wheat until harvest time.

It means there is no future in dishonesty, fraud, theft, murder…

It means that if you’ve been successful by immoral means then you have no future… except to put right the wrong you’ve done. You are nothing more than a weed waiting for harvest time!

As Jesus asked elsewhere; what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his very soul?

What good is anything if you have nowhere to go?

Mercy is about turning weeds into wheat. It’s never about leaving weeds unchanged!

God in his essence is really very simple… if we’d only listen to the parables and stop imposing our kingdom on God’s kingdom!