Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Seeing God's Face

 "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field." Matthew 13:36
This is what the disciples asked Jesus to do after He told the story of how a man sowed good seed in his field. While the man was sleeping, an enemy sowed weeds among the wheat. The man told his servants to allow the weeds to grow with the wheat, but during harvest time, they are to be gathered and burned. In this parable, Jesus identifies this weed as Zizania (Greek). This type of weed, known as Darnel, grows in Palestine and resembles wheat, except that it is poisonous. It is almost impossible to tell the two apart except at harvest time. Wheat has brown grain and Zizania has black grain.

 Is it not that when there is a news story about a man or woman who starts shooting people, or who holds someone hostage, or brings a plane down, there are always relatives or neighbors who say, "He was a good man/ woman, a good neighbor/ classmate/ co-worker. I would never think he/she would do that!! No indication at all!" It is only when wheat and the Zizania "bear fruit" that we can identify which is which. In the same way, it is only with our fruit that we know if we are children of God or children of the enemy. What this parable makes certain is there is hell, a place for the weeds, and it is useless to say that God is too good to allow people to burn in it. What kind of fruit are we bearing?

 "There is a lad here with 5 barley loaves and a couple of dried fish..." John 6:9
Isn't it amazing that the little boy was willing to give up the bread and fish? Because of the sacrifice of his nameless boy, we have one of Jesus' most amazing miracles. What if he was too scared to give away the food of his family? Jesus would not have been able to feed more than 5000 people!
I do believe and have had it proven for me many a time, that when we give to Jesus our time, our talent and treasure, He is able to multiply it. But if we do not risk giving it away, we could miss experiencing God's amazing work in our life, and the lives of those around us.

As Christians, we have the most amazing treasure in our hands, the Word of God. Are we able to share this with others, like Tim Tebow, or are we too afraid to be ridiculed, rejected or ignored?

 "The reign of God is like yeast..." Matthew 13:33
One time a friend gave me a little bit of "starter" dough with instructions. Apparently I was supposed to make a new batch of bread with this. It had been passed on from other sisters. In other parts of the world, in Italy for example, starters have been passed on from generation to generation. The yeast from this dough would permeate the new flour and make it grow.
What a wonderful picture for the Kingdom of God! Yesterday we celebrated our covenant community's 40th anniversary and we watched the song and dance performances of the little children, the young adults, the university students, singles, couples and senior citizens. We also witnessed our first coordinator, Father Schneider, give a Bible, the Word of God, to a little child.

 There is an essence of the Christian faith that I have received from others that I need to pass on. The treasure of God's Word and His presence in my life that I have also witnessed in my brothers and sisters needs to permeate the dough of the world. Our faith can bring the Kingdom to life. It can bring healing to a troubled world. We need to allow Jesus to rise up in us and do His work in the world.

 "You do not know what you are asking for." Matthew 20:22
Today we celebrate the feast day of Saint James the Greater today. He was one of the apostles, along with his brother John, chosen by Jesus. They are like bookends, as James was the first to die, and John the last of the apostles to leave this earth. When their mother, traditionally named Salome, asked of Jesus, "Promise me that these sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand, and the other at your left", was she not just like any mother, desiring honor and greatness for her children?
Jesus answered that she did not realize what she was asking!

When we start our journey as Christians, we too do not realize what would be required of us. We just take one step at a time, journeying with Jesus. We don't have a map, but we do have a guide. Today and tomorrow our covenant community celebrates 40 years of walking with God. We started with a motley group of 40 people. One was a young man with a drug problem. There was a rich old lady who came with an entourage of helpers and a driver. There were married couples, single women, a nun and a priest.

God spoke to them and said,"You have asked to see my face. I will show it to you..I will be in your midst. I will give you a name by which you will be proclaimed."Kayo ang aking Ligaya (You are my joy)." We are now known as Ligaya ng Panginoon (The Joy of the Lord). Yes God has shown us His face and His faithfulness for 40 years. Though we do not know what lies ahead, we continue to go forward knowing God walks with us.


  1. Love the explanation of the weed...Thank you for sharing! As usual, your art is inspiring :)

  2. "You are my joy" - what a wonderful identity the Lord has given to you. Seeking his face is the highest offering to the Lord. Thank you for sharing this deeply intimate part of your life. Your illustrations also bring His Word to life.
    Blessing hugs,


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:^) Patsy