17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - 30/7/2017 - Gospel: Mt 13:44-46
The mixture
There are several parables talking about different images of God's kingdom on earth. The parable of a farmer who sowed seeds on the ground and wheats and weeds grew on the same field. The parable of a woman who mixed yeasts and flour and waited for it to rise is another one. Three short parables are the mustard seeds and a good pearl found hidden in a field and a fish monger. The common themes of these parables are relating to discernment and compassion.

The process of discernment in the parables is choosing for what is best, not the second best, but the best. Choosing the best means to choose what is most pleasing to God and place God's will in first priority in life and it is in tune with the Lord's prayer- your will be done on earth. The apostles had chosen to follow Jesus and left everything behind, their boat, their father and their fishermen companions. Mat 4,18-22.

Discernment of God's will and to follow will change our lives.  Uproot the former way of life and adopt to a new life; the life of following Jesus, the life on belonging to Jesus and the life of trusting Jesus as our leader and Saviour.

After sowing the seeds a farmer patiently waits for the harvest and at the harvest time the chosen process will take place where wheats are separated from weeds. Wheats are stored while darnels will be burned. Pearls are buried and hidden in fields often have soil gathered around them where they need to sand them off. The process of sanding requires special tools and techniques and hard work with the hope that the end results will be satisfaction. The parable of a fish monger lives in hope because there is no guarantee that every haul will bring in good quality fish. Fish mongers have no control of the catch; its quality and quantity. They only hope that the catch will be plenty. After the catch the fish will be separated; good quality fish are set apart from the not so good ones. Many scholars identify this parable with the reality in the Church where saints and sinners share a same place of worship, live at the same place and know each other. The idea comes from Jesus when he told the Apostles that they will be fisher of men. Actually we are all sinners and all need God's compassion and love. In following Jesus there is a certainly and that means Jesus will look after, care for and make us to be true disciples, doing the same kind of mission he had begun on earth. Certainly in these parables is the active hope. They had hoped to achieve something after their hard labour. The farmer worked hard in the field and hoped to have a good and rich harvest; the merchant had sold everything in hope for the fine pearl; the fisherman hoped to have a good catch with good quality fish. In becoming disciples of Jesus we hope to be faithful to God's will and God's purpose is ours because we know that everything we have come from God and everything we achieve in life is not for God but for God's children. At the harvest time or the end time it is our love for God and love for neighbours that will be counted. Time we live in this world is the time to build up the network of loving relationships to one another and we need to do it in God's name. Then there will time to complete our mission on earth and that is each individual's harvest time.  Pray for wisdom to make a right choice and be chosen into God's kingdom.