Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those united to us in the faith. (Galatians 6:7-10)
The long sowing season of Modernism came and went. I believe the campaign lasted at least two centuries, perhaps more. In time, the harvest began. My best guess is that that the harvest of the tares started after the death of Pope Pius XII and continued through the reign of every pope until our present day. What were the fruits being harvested?
‘Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:15-20)
The fruits being harvested were fruits of corruption. Since the 1960’s and in particular since the end of the Second Vatican Council, we have seen more than enough corruption. In these days of immoral politicians and corrupted religious leaders, one would be inclined to think of corruption as the usual stolen money and sex scandal exposed almost constantly by the media. Saint Paul is talking about the corruption of the body, first the human body corrupted by uncontrolled appetites, and then the bodies of Church and society corrupted by the same forces unleashed by the corruption of the individuals that conform those bodies.
In spite of many warnings by Popes, saints, and wise men who sounded the alarm, the Modernist sowing season went almost undetected by the public at large. Jesus correctly pointed to the fruits of hypocrisy as a sure way to detect the corruption undertow that is normally hidden to the public eye.
The success of the corrupting operation was such that now it is practically impossible to hide the resulting putrid harvest. Finally, the good fruits and the bad fruits are plainly distinguishable. That is a good sign that the harvest of the good wheat is about to start.
He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?” He answered, “An enemy has done this.” The slaves said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?” But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’ (Matthew 13:24-30)
I know we have read these passages so many times applying them in various manners. The days we are living are revealing that those parables are part of a wider structure that we can easily apply to our times.
This is nothing but a gigantic sign of the times, something so huge that no one with eyes to see should miss. Since the schism of 1054, the Church has lived many a crisis but nothing like what we are seeing today. When something as basic to Christian belief as the First Commandment is clearly violated before the whole world, one has to conclude that it is high time to gather the tares and lit them afire before they spread their seeds to the four winds.
It is not for us mere humans to participate in the harvest. Our preoccupation should be to be included among the good wheat. The harvest is a moment in history and it is a supernatural operation that we do not have the power to cause. Angels will harvest everything that is now growing in the world.
The enemy who sowed [the bad seed] is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. (Matthew 13:39)
If we do not give up we will be busy growing ourselves in the faith and helping others to grow. In the scripture quoted above, St. Paul helped us see that: “So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those united to us in the faith.” Angels and us are servants of the same Master but our task is different from that of the angelical “workers of the harvest” — we cultivate the fields but they reap. When the Master, the owner of the field comes at the end of the age, He will reward some and punish others.
‘Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give the other servants their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. (Matthew 24:45-47)
It would be unwise not to be quite involved in growing and helping others grow in goodness. Jesus explains why:
But if that wicked slave says to himself, “My master is delayed”, and he begins to beat his fellow-slaves, and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know. He will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 24:48-51)
Needless to clarify that the place of the hypocrites is very likely to coincide with the pile of useless tares destined to be thrown in the fire.
Finally, there is one interesting additional detail in St. Luke’s version of the Master’s return. It is something quite unusual.
Blessed are those servants whom the master finds on watch when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve and will have them recline at the table, and he himself will come and wait on them. Even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night and finds them alert, those servants will be blessed!… Luke 12:37-38
I believe we are likely to see the fulfillment of this prophetic collection of parables in our own days. I may be wrong but it seems to me that the sign itself is so huge that it is hard to miss. The world, the sad and oppressing order that mankind has known since the days of Adam, is about to come to an abrupt end.
What will replace the old devilish order ruled by the satanic spirit of envy, avarice, and corruption? It will be a new order where the Master —although He is Lord— will serve his creatures every need by infusing their world with his love. A renewal of the world by the Holy Spirit may be at hand.
St. Thomas Aquinas says (somewhere, perhaps in The Eternity of the World) that the world will not end by destruction but by instant transmutation. That may be the hidden meaning of the image of a Master serving the servants after a surprise arrival. Some judgment of the elect will happen at that point: some will sit at the table and have the honor of being served by their Master; others will go “to the darkness outside.”
One wonders who will be that last person to complete the number of those saved. Imagine that last believer, the living threshold between two worlds, the one whose eternal salvation triggers the end of the age. Let’s try to beat that one to the Master’s table. Be in a state of grace and go to Mass. Avoid the darkness outside, avoid the fire and the fate of the hypocrites.