One ought to be able to sleep in peace. But, as the parable indicates, sleep for some means time for evil; work for others.
In the doing of good, do we, occasionally, fail to keep an eye open, to be on our guard, to do the rounds and, sadly, fall into the trap of “Well, I have prepared the soil, I have selected good seed, I have planted appropriately, so now I can rest”.
Some of these parables were written against the background of confusion in the new emerging communities, particularly for Matthew. His people had enthusiastically embraced the Good News of Jesus. Many of their relatives and friends had rejected the same Good News. Why, and what will happen? We often want immediate answers to our needs and questions. Our age is often characterised by the slogan:
“What do we want?
When do we want it?
Matthew’s community may, or may not, have been so noisy as us today, but to help answer the dilemma, Matthew brings out parables that approach the dilemma from various viewpoints. Ultimately, the answer provided is patience, tolerance…and leave the resolution to God.
Sound advice. However, some would see this as a cop out! It is not totally satisfactorily for many in our time.
We want a vaccine…NOW.
We want answers…NOW.
We want everyone to be vegetarians…NOW.
We want all of our conflicts solved…NOW and on our conditions!
Maybe some of the anger, some of the disillusionment with a seeming lack of progress can be attended to if, when we do good things, we don’t go to sl164eep and, in a sense, leave the night open to the work of the evil ones. Be reminded of the other word of Jesus, “If you had known what time the thief was coming etc.” The thief has the advantage, but the parable suggests that all will be accorded justice in time.
Allow the Spirit to assist us in our weakness, after all, it is his work that we are called to partnership. What a privilege.