Treasure Has to Be Discovered
In the Gospel reading Jesus tells a parable which indicates that only a fourth of the scattered seeds comes up, but this small portion produces a bountiful harvest. The disciples ask him: “Why do you speak in parables?” Jesus’ lengthy answer points out that at least an initial understanding of divine things must be present in listeners’ hearts if the word is to bear fruit in them. “To anyone who has (at the starting point), more will be given”.
How can we speak of God? The truth is that one can speak of God only in images. These images are giving us a precise description of God but one has to remember that they are still images. In fact, human language is not able to reveal the reality of God. Even God Himself speaking to people is constrained by the limitations of human language. This is the reason why God in Old Testament times spoke to people using symbols and events; Jesus also used images: parables, stories, and comparisons. However, it does not mean that we people, the children of God, are powerless in discovering who God is and what is His message to us. We are well equipped to understand our Father: we have an intellect and we are able to make logical conclusions. We also have a will to do so. Moreover, we also have the ability to be persistent in our search. The results do not come by themselves, automatically; it takes a lot of effort to comprehend God’s revelation to us. Anyone whose heart is hardened or unwilling to understand because of superficiality or worldly preoccupations cannot penetrate the kernel where the treasure is hidden.
The Gospel and Christianity is not for those who are lazy. What we are receiving is a real treasure, pure gold, and this has to be discovered, dug out and appreciated. It is not given to us on a tray while we are sitting in a comfortable armchair, watching our favorite TV program or game, and drinking coffee or something else (fill in a favorite pastime). God allows all of us to taste the truth, the Gospel. But the next step belongs to us. Today’s Gospel parable is a stern warning that God’s grace could be wasted.
The end of the parable brings us an unconditional promise that, in good soil, the seed produces hundredfold, sixtyfold, thirtyfold. In other words, overall, the harvest is a good one. God will get a good return even in the poor ground of this world: in his eyes a saint outweighs a hundred apathetic or disbelieving people. The first reading gives us a virtual triumphant proclamation of this. The grace of God is like rain that makes the earth germinate and sprout, giving the sower seed and edible bread. So, we read: “The Word that goes forth from my mouth shall not return to me void, but shall do my will”. And it will produce not merely a portion of what God’s plan intended, but rather “achieves every end for which I sent it”.
There is a continuous danger that we come to church to hear what we want to hear, and we follow what we want to follow. In this case it would be easier to record ourselves and then listen to our recording at will. We, the Church, the children of God, come to church not to listen to ourselves but to listen to what God wants to say to us. Some of God’s message we will comprehend easily, some with some difficulty, and some things we will not want to hear at all… for now. Why?
Not accepting what God is saying to us and what the Church repeats places us in the domain of children’s way of thinking and behaving. For example, when a father or mother buys his child ice cream, a computer game, or cell phone, the parent is looked upon by the child as good. However, when the parent is asking their child to brush their teeth, clean their room, or do homework, then the parent is seen by the child as not good, even oppressive. Usually, parents try to explain to their children the reason for requiring of them this or another thing –sometimes successfully. At other times, it takes time for children to understand their parents’ demands. The same is with our relationship with our Father in heaven. So do not reject His commands and guidance but try to understand. All of them are for our ultimate good. And our Father in heaven is much wiser and better than the best loving mother or father on earth.