Today, Jesus, through St Matthew’s Gospel gives a clear teaching on judgement and the end of time. The first lesson is that judgement will take place when God decides, not his servants. The second is that God will not risk uprooting the evil from around the good, for fear of damaging the good. Another lesson for us is that it is difficult to tell good from evil. As the illustration shows the nutritious wheat and the poisonous darnel have a similar appearance until harvest time. Therefore, we are not to judge, leave that to the appointed one.

Wheat (left), darnel (right)

Often we will find in our readings that the Old Testament extract tells us of a God who punishes and the New Testament has a loving God full of forgiveness. Today, the readings don’t quite match up with that, as today in the Book of Wisdom we hear of lenience, mild in judgement, never judging unjustly and how God by adopting these traits sets an example for the virtuous man. This reading from the Book of Wisdom, written in the century before Jesus was born, gives us elements of the Prayer which Jesus taught us; the ‘Our Father’.

The virtuous man heeding God’s example by being kindly to his fellow man and God giving the great hope of repentance to His sons; if we are sons then we can call Him Father, as Jesus taught us.

In St Paul’s letter to the Romans, we are reminded that the Spirit; which Jesus left for us to be our advocate; will help us in our weakness. This same Spirit will express our plea to God, who already knows what we want before we ask. The Spirit supported by the saints of God are battling on our behalf engaged in Spiritual warfare against the enemy.

Just as Jesus explained when he explained the parable of the darnel, He is the sower of the good seed, the world is the field, we are the good seed, the darnel are those who would lead us astray; agents of the enemy; the devil is the enemy, the harvest is the end of the world, the reapers are God’s angels. Our goal brothers and sisters is to avoid being caught up with the darnel, to ensure our children learn about Jesus, because if we don’t teach them then others will teach them who He is not.

So, as we listen this Sunday to our readings, we think about what the darnel represents in our lives. What is it that is stopping me from being close to Jesus today? What do I need to change to weed out the darnel from my life? Jesus is calling on us to change, to follow Him; what in my life makes this difficult? Whatever your answer is, that is the thing to change.

Please keep in your prayer this week those in our Parish who are sick, those worried about employment, those who grieve and those recently deceased.

Also please remember in your prayers those who are recommencing Baptism Preparation sessions this Sunday.

I wish you all a blessed week and pray that you can all find joy in the Peace of Christ.

Deacon Tony Darroch, 18th July 2020.

If you are struggling to find resources or would like suggestions please email me on adarroch@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk or if you would appreciate the odd call from me during this time please send me a message with your contact details and I will get in touch.