5th Sunday After Epiphany The Gospel Matt.13:24-30. Tuesday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
GOSPEL Matt. 13:24-30At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seed in his field. But while men were asleep, his enemy came and oversowed cockle among the wheat and went his way. And when the blade was sprung up, and had brought forth fruit, then appeared also the cockle. And the servants of the good man of the house coming said to him. 'Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? Whence then hath it cockle?' And he said to them: 'An enemy hath done this.' And the servants said to him: 'Wilt thou that we go and gather it up?' And he said: 'No, lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it. Suffer both to grow until the harvest, and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers: 'Gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn, but the wheat gather ye into my barn.' "
The Kingdom of heaven is like one that sowed good seed in his ground.
By the Kingdome of heaven may be meant the doctrine of Christ: because it sheweth us the way to the Kingdom of heave; or else the soul of a just man, wherein God dwelt, and ruleth as in his Kingdom: making all the faculties of his soul, and body subject to the will of God; for which we pray, Thy Kingdom come, in earth, that is to say, in our earthly bodies, as it is in heaven.
Or it may be meant, that these that will be of the Kingdom of heaven, must be like the material heavens in their motions, and operations. All other things, but they, seem to labor, and move for themselves, for example, things that are heavy, and ponderous, move down; things that are light, as fire, smoke, vapors, do fly upwards, to their Center where they rest: but the heavens move with a round or circular motion, not to get any rest to themselves, but to be in continual, and uncessant motion, only for the good of other things; their influences, and operations preserving the life, and growth of all creatures in the world. So we, if we will be of the Kingdom of heaven, if we will follow the doctrine of the Kingdom of heaven, the doctrine of charity, where in depends all the law, we must attend to the good of others, as well as of our own; for, God hath putt every one in charge with his neighbor. The heavens are never weary, but move continually without cessation: so should we never be weary, nor cease from doing good to others, nor from our accustomed exercises of prayer, and other Services of God: nor do them one day, and neglect them two or three days for it, casting ourselves more behind by that then going forward by the other: as they do that water young plants or trees in summer one day, and omit it three or four days or a week after.
If the wise Salomon send sluggards to the little poor emmett, to learn industry, and labor by her example; much more may we learn the lesson aforesaid, by the heavens: for, (as the Prophet David saieth) the heavens declare the gory of God, to witt more then ordinary, and the firmament, the work of his hands.
The heavens move round about equally or uniformly to serve all alike: so should we in our charity be equal, and indifferent or impartial to all. Likewise the kingdom of heaven may signify, and that most properly, and apty of all, the militant Church here on earth: because it belongeth to the Kingdom of heaven triumphant with God: for we cannot come to that Kingdom, but by this, It is as it were, the suburbs of that, it is as it were fair Court before a noble mans house or palace, which is enclosed in with walls, and accounted as it were all one.
Happy are they that dwell in the suburbs of the holy Catholic Church, militant here on earth; they pertain to that glorious City of Jerusalem in heaven. I rejoice (saith the prophet David) is those things that were said unto me, we shall go into the house of our Lord; our feet were standing in thy Courts. O Jerusalem: as if he should say: happy are they, whose feet are standing in the militant Church, which is as it were the Court of the Kingdom of heaven: for there by, and from thence, if they persevere, and live accordingly they shall be sure to go into the house of our Lord, that is to say, the Church triumphant in heaven.