(Continuing to present both Tracks of the Lectionary)
The parable for this week is about a sower and subsequent growth of wheat and weeds (tares in KJV). The interesting part of the parable is that the Master does not want the weeds pulled, but wants the two—wheat and weeds—to grow together. Further, the Master does not want the laborers to make the decision about which is wheat and which is weeks. Well now, how about that? I tend to think of myself as a laborer. Does this mean I am to keep my judgment to myself? that I am to allow my master to make that kind of decision? Well, it will be difficult for me but, simply put, yes, that is not my decision to make. What do you think? Post your thoughts on our website.
Jesus put before the crowd another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” . . .
From sermon4kids.com: “Whenever you see someone in the church that you don’t think should be there, before you grab your hoe or your weed killer, remember the advice of Jesus. Just leave it up to God to separate the weeds from the good plants. If we try to take matters into our own hands, we will probably do more harm than good.”
Scripture: July 19, 2020—Isaiah 44:6-8; Psalm 86:11-17; Romans 8:12-25; and Matthew 13:24-30,36-43. Illuminating the scripture, an image and audio journey. Track 1 lesson and psalm are Genesis 28:10-19a and Psalm 139: 1-11, 22-23.
Collect: Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Reflection: How has your understanding of the relationship between suffering and faith (or vulnerability and trust) changed over time? What experiences of God’s grace do you need to acknowledge and anoint?
Saint Focus: “Righteous Gentiles” has become more or less generic to refer to any of the non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews from the Holocaust. Even so, the saints remembered on the 16th are:
- Raoul Wallenberg from Sweden, working in Hungary, issuing passports and protecting thousands; arrested by Soviets, never to be heard from again.
- Hiram “Harry” Bingham from America, assigned to US consulate in Marseille; issued passports (over State Department objections) to many including prominent personalities
- Carl Lutz from Switzerland, working in Hungary, issued letters of protection; tricked the negotiators and reused the “permitted” 8000 numbers repeatedly, plus set up 76 “safe” houses for Jews by declaring them to be part of the consulate
- Chiune Sugihara, from Japan, working in Lithuania; issued travel visas to more than 6000 Jews permitting them to escape to safe Japanese territories; “Even a hunter cannot kill a bird which flies to him for refuge.”
- André Trocmé and his wife Magda from France, he assigned as pastor in remote French village (Le Chambon) where he spoke out against discrimination; helped establish safe houses and an underground railroad, saving an estimated 3500 with large number of children.
. Be sure to follow the link below for more details. [most from the Calendar of the church year according to the Episcopal Church.]
This week, the saints under consideration were:
- 16; “The Righteous Gentiles“
- 17; William White, Bishop of Pennsylvania, 1836
- 18; Bartolomé de las Casas, Priest and Missionary, 1566
- 19; Macrina of Caesarea, Monastic and Teacher, 379
- 20; Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Ross Tubman, Social Reformers
- 21; [Maria Skobtsoba], Monastic & Martyr, 1945; AND Albert John Luthuli, Prophetic Witness, 1967
How does one discern between what’s good and what’s not? Sometimes the task is an easy one, but other times it can be downright difficult. We know that penicillin grows in a mold, but we don’t want to eat our bread covered with mold. So what examples can you think of. In our world, good and evil co-exist. How can we be agents for good? Share. [based on “Duke’s Mixture Discipleship” from Stewardship of Life website.
If you wish, share your thoughts on our website.
As we continue to read the Gospel according to Matthew each Sunday, we are in a section of Jesus’ parables concerning the Kingdom of God. This parable of the wheat and the weeds reaffirms God’s patience with the Church. While we are often impatient with its failures, God is merciful and waits until the end before separating the good from the bad. Jesus urges us to grow into fruitful members of God’s family.
Track 1. The story of God’s ancient people continues today. Jacob, the wily grandson of Abraham, is fleeing because he has cheated his brother out of the family inheritance. God gives him a dream in which God renews the promise to Abraham, whose heir Jacob is. This story illustrates that God does not choose people because they are worthy but out of the love and grace God has toward all people.
Track 2. The first reading from Isaiah is a report of God’s own words. Despite the fearfulness and majesty of the description, we are told not to be afraid. God’s power is not a power to destroy, but the power of love.
Track 2 alternative. In the first reading from the Wisdom of Solomon, God is acknowledged as all powerful. Yet God is forebearing toward us and in divine power chooses to judge us with patience and mildness.
In the second reading, Paul assures us that the whole creation is moving toward redemption. Through our redemption will come the redemption of the whole creation. Therefore, the whole creation waits with longing for our redemption to be complete.
We share in the Eucharistic action in order that God’s redemptive power may lead us toward the Kingdom. We share also in order that we may be the means by which redemption comes to the whole creation. That is our vocation as the people of God and as members of the Body of Christ.
From The Rite Light: Reflections on the Sunday Readings and Seasons of the Church Year. Copyright © 2007 by Michael W. Merriman. Church Publishing Incorporated, New York.