Welcome to the Cathedral Church of Saints Peter & Paul, Clifton.


Sunday 23rd July 2017
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Wisdom 12: 13, 16-19     Romans 8: 26-27     Matthew 13: 24-43


Genetically Modified Seed.

One of the worries that people have over GM food is that there might be side effects which don’t show up for a long time. When or if they do, it will be too late.

You could argue that if the sower in Jesus’s parable had had genetically modified seed then the darnel (weeds) might not have been able to attack it. In other words, why does God allow potential to remain unfulfilled, promise to be broken, goodness to be choked by evil? If God loves us, why doesn’t he take care of things so that sin never prevails against goodness?

A clue to the answer comes in Jesus’s words, “Let them both grow until the harvest”. God seems to avoid the short cuts that we favour. We cannot understand why God does not intervene more to avert disasters and evil. If wickedness seems to prosper at the expense of good, can it be because God doesn’t care or is powerless?

What God seems to be bothered about most is respecting the sort of people we are. We live in God’s kingdom with free will – the ability to decide what we want to be and do. Free will is a gift from God which gives us a self-worth. We are not pieces on a chess board. Rather, we are trusted by God to act responsibly. If God were to keep intervening every time we were about to make a mess of things, then we would have a “nanny-God” and our free will would be taken away by a God who “knows best”.

Yet Jesus’ words, “Let them both grow until the harvest,” give us an idea that there is purpose and justice to the way God acts. Good and bad exist together in this world, but Jesus is saying that at the end of time there is a reckoning. The darnel gets burnt. Part and parcel of our free will is that should we choose to reject God and go for our own selfish lifestyle, then God allows us this freedom. He does not modify us genetically so that we end up doing what he wants while thinking that we are in the driving seat. God lets us choose to reject him and, when it comes time to harvest the fruit of our lives, he respects our decision for ever.




Scripture Reflections (below) © Peter J Harrison 2017