Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Lenten Reflections 2016

“The Son of Man shall send his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all scandals, and they shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine like the sun in the kingdom of his Father” (Mt. 13:41-43).... Consider what in his field we choose to be; consider what sort the harvest will find us to be. The field, which is the world, is the Church spread throughout the world. Anyone who is wheat, let him persevere until the harvest; those who are weeds, let them be changed into wheat. There is this difference between human beings and real blades and real weeds that in a field what is a blade of wheat remains a blade of wheat, and what are weeds stay weeds; but in the Lord’s field, in the Church, sometimes what was wheat becomes a weed, and sometimes what was a weed is changed into wheat; and no one knows what he was be tomorrow....

Listen, beloved grain of Christ; listen, Christ’s beloved blades; listen beloved wheat of Christ. Consider yourselves, return to your consciences; examine your faith; examine your love; awaken your consciousness. And if you find that you are wheat, keep in mind that it is the one who perseveres to the end who will be saved (Mt 10:22). But if anyone examines his conscience and finds that he is among the weeds, let him not fear to be changed. The order for cutting them down hasn’t been given yet; the harvest hasn’t come yet. Don’t be today what you were yesterday, or don’t be tomorrow what you are today. What good does it you to say “Someday I’ll change”? God has promised you pardon when you have changed; but he hasn’t promised you tomorrow. At the harvest you will be what you were when you left your body. Someone dies who was a weed. Will he then have a chance to become wheat? Here, in the field, weeds become wheat, and wheat becomes weeds. That can happen here; but there, after this life, that will be the time for receiving what he did and not for doing what he did not do here (Sermon 73A, 2.5, 1-2)

Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

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