The Kairos moment to come
Waiting at the traffic lights for the green can be quite an amusing experience for the driver at the top of the queue. If you pause for just long enough, you will be sure to hear what the drivers behind think about your delayed response!
Similarly, on a cold, snowy, December morning, while standing in line for the 95A bus to get down to the university, I learned too that after about five minutes of waiting, commuters could become a little agitated and even vocal about the tardiness of the Toronto transport system.
Whether we are conscious of it or not, our lives are very nearly dominated by the flow of seconds, minutes, hours, yes, even weeks and years! Time really is very important to all of us and without a healthy respect for it, we could be lost to disorder and confusion.
However, in the Gospel of today, Jesus shows us in the parables concerning the Kingdom of God that there is a deeper, spiritual sense regarding time and one that has a profound bearing on how we understand God’s divine providence and His ultimate plan for the entire world.
In the first instance, Jesus mentions that a man had sown good seed in his field and left but in his absence, his enemy came and sowed darnel in the midst of the wheat.
This reminds us that our time is one in which the good that people do will be counteracted by the evil intentions and deliberate actions of others. Our time is one in which good and bad will continue to co-exist.
I think about scenes in parts of North America recently that captured scores of marchers with signs like ‘Babies’ lives matter’ or ‘Where there is love there is life’ and standing close by, others with placards: ‘I am not a walking womb’ or ‘Keep abortion legal!’
Whenever I witness such a dichotomy I often feel like the servants in the Gospel. I wonder why God does not move swiftly to address all the transgressions, sins and evil in the world immediately?! That is in a real sense, the mystery of evil in the world. Just like some people at the traffic lights, who become impatient with a distracted or slow-to-respond driver, I want things to happen faster!
Interestingly, Jesus tells us in the parable today that there will be a harvest time and here He uses the word in Greek kairo, or the appointed time; the time of God’s chosen moment will come! Unfortunately, we can become so caught up in the demands of the passage of time, that we may not realise that God may be challenging us to grow in patience and to put our trust in Him! God will reveal His plan in His time but we are required to plant the good seed without fail, to patiently decipher the darnel from the wheat and to trust that the kairos moment will certainly come. The truth is, ultimately God also reserves the right and power of final judgement!
Additionally, let us make sure that we are not numbered among the darnel! Yes, we may be free of one particular evil but we may be very guilty of another! And while we may boast that we have never sown darnel, we may never have sown wheat either!
Finally, Jesus talks about the end of time and the word used in the original Greek translation refers closely to our English understanding of eternity/eternal life. By describing what will be the fate of the darnel and the wheat, Jesus points to the big picture reality of eternity!
Yes, we have glimpses of God’s glorious works right now but what we should concern ourselves even more with, is the time that is eternal life with Jesus and the kingdom of heaven that will come to fruition! All other times will be caught up in this time and all our efforts, pains, struggles and desires, patience and trust, should be in preparation for the everlasting reign of God and what a wonderful time that will be!
The Gospel reflections for July are by Fr Steve Ransome, former parish priest of Toco/Matelot, who is currently on study leave at the University of Toronto, Regis College.