On occasion Jesus answers the question, “Why is the world like this?” Ironically, because today is All Saints Day there are special readings at Morning Prayer, but I prayed with the normal week day cycle of readings as well. I was glad I did because in it Jesus told a story. The Kingdom of God can be compared to a man who planted seed in a field. While people slept an enemy came and sowed the field with weeds. Soon the wheat and weeds began to grow and the workers asked the Master, “what happened?” The Master replied that an enemy’s hand was at work. However, He told the workers not to try to pick the weeds, because some wheat would be lost as well. Instead, He asked them to wait for the harvest at which time the two would be divided.
Jesus spoke often about the “Harvest” at the end of time and He alluded frequently to the time of dividing the “good” from the “bad.” Jesus’ outlook was apocalyptic. His understanding of history was based not on progress but on divine intervention. And for all His love and kindness, He was firmly convinced that there would be a judgment. We all await the “dividing up” day whether we know it or not.
Why is the world like this? We do not have a full explanation of the mystery but we do have an answer. An enemy’s hand is at work among us, sowing weeds to choke our fruits with evil. There is someone, or something, at work in our cosmos for ill and evil, in opposition to God. There is The Enemy.
Why is the world like this? We do not have a full explanation of the mystery but we do have an answer. God waits. God waits for the right time. It is hard to know wheat from weed, they can look a lot alike. Some day we will be known for what we are, weed or wheat, but in the meantime, we wait. We wait on God’s Day.
Why is the world like this? Many questions are not answerable this side of Judgment Day. Perhaps it is not ours to ponder and speculate. Probably we are supposed to be busy producing the fruits for the harvest. Ours is an age of maximal chattering and minimal fidelity. We need to talk less, complain less, argue and fight with God’s ways less. We need to spend less time spinning theories and weaving explanations about things too great for our feeble minds to grasp. We need to recognize that this is the way the world is. Period. God has His plans. We know what He wants us to be and do; so it is time to get on with the business of being obedient and fruitful, it is time to glorify His name.