17 August 2008


Robert Schmitz reflects on the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus promises a harvest of 30 or 60 or even 100-fold. He tells us in that day, when agriculture was rather primitive, seeds did not even yield 30 fold. One historian says that wheat farmers could not even expect 4-fold returns until modern times.

He speculates that when people heard that story told by Jesus, they laughed. Some who knew better would be laughing at Jesus, the carpenter's son, for his obvious lack of knowledge about farming. Others might have been laughing out of greed; they thought that perhaps someday they would grow rich sowing such seeds. Some laughter might have been a cynical scoff from people who knew, after all, that God does not operate in this way.

Some, however, might have been laughing out of pure joy. The last group would be those ready to hear the promise of God's reign. The laughter would rise from those whose hope was in the dream that God's kingdom is, indeed, at hand.

Today, all sorts of laughter still sounds whenever the world -- and even us Christians --hear about the coming Kingdom of God. Which kind of laughter is yours?

-Fr. Bob Waters

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