Homily for the fifth Sunday in Lent (Year C) – Reaping what you have sown

Updated: Mar 30

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Good morning bus riders!


Welcome to the fifth Sunday in Lent … the last Sunday with Lent in its name. That does not mean the period of testing is over. Lent began on a Wednesday, so this next Tuesday means thirty-five days have passed. So, next Sunday will be the thirty-ninth day in Lent; but that Sunday is called Palm Sunday.


At the end of the after the Epiphany and the after Pentecost seasons, the Church announces “the last Sunday” then. The last Sunday after Pentecost is called “Christ the King Sunday” and the last Sunday after the Epiphany is sometimes called “Transfiguration Sunday.” Next Sunday is not called “the last Sunday in Lent,” even though it officially is. It is simply called “Palm Sunday.”


Actually, Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Easter Week, which is considered to be the last week of Lent. Forty days should end on Monday ... but when the five Sundays and Palm Sunday don't count (time off from testing?), then Lent can stretch until the Saturday before Easter Sunday.


Palm Sunday is called a feast day, when Lent is about fasting, not feasting.


So, go figure. Sundays must not count?


Like I have been saying: Lent is not about forty days. It is about a commitment to Yahweh that is tested for sincerity; and, if passed, Lent lasts for the remainder of one’s life on earth.


Relative to that theme in Lent, I see the silver cord that links all of the readings for today as summed up in David’s psalm, where reaping what one has sown in life is the test to remember.


Just as sowing is a year after year act – never going away – so too is the harvesting of that sown.


There are two common sayings, which seem to be contradictory: “The best things in life are free;” and, “Nothing in life is free.”


They support one another by both saying the best things in life are free, when one puts in the work necessary to bring about those best things.


This is the way of sowing. There is the necessary work that makes the ground fertile and ready to receive the seed. Then there is a period of free time, waiting for the harvest to come. Then there is the necessary work involved in reaping what one has sown.


The seasons come and go, with the sowing and reaping never ceases. That means sowing and reaping are free … free will to sow as you please. Free to be judged by what you have sown.


In Isaiah’s song, we see the lesson here comes from forgetting you reap what you sow.


Isaiah begins this song by identifying the words written have come from Yahweh; so, this song is not some personal opinion held by Isaiah. It is the truth of his One God.


In this song, one needs to realize that the leaders of Judah had led the people to ruin and captivity in Babylon. Things were not rosy; and, Isaiah had been passing on the messages sent to him by Yahweh for many years … to no avail.


When Yahweh sings in verse eighteen: “Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old,” that was not a recommendation, but the reason the people were in captivity.


They forgot nothing in life is free. They forgot the best things in life are free, when the necessary work has been done.


Verses sixteen and seventeen are singing about how Yahweh recalled how He parted the Red Sea and let His servants cross without getting any mud on their sandals. Then, once the horses and chariots of the big, bad Egyptians went into the middle of the sea – wham! Everything collapsed in on them.


Well, Yahweh was telling those children in captivity in Babylon that they had become like the Egyptians – wham! Everything collapsed in on them.


This says the idleness of waiting to reap means forgetting to do the necessary work that brings about a bountiful harvest. The vast majority of Judeans had stopped sowing good seeds, simply thinking they were free to collect the rewards of Yahweh, while doing nothing to deserve them.


The promise made by Yahweh, through His prophet Isaiah, was “a new thing that would spring forth like rivers in the desert.”


That promise was dependent on the “jackals and ostriches honoring Him,” with those wild animals being metaphor for “serpents and daughters of greed.” Those who had become like the Egyptians – worshipping many gods – had to once again honor Yahweh – having their souls become married to the One God.


When Yahweh sang through Isaiah, “to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise,” that makes a most important statement.


Where it says “I … myself,” that tells of a soul having submitted to Yahweh in marriage, so the “I” of “myself” is no more. The self-ego has to become the seed that is planted, so one can rise as one chosen and formed by Yahweh.


In the seed metaphor told by Jesus, he was the seed that had to die, so it could spring forth and become a vine. The disciples would then be his branches, bearing good fruit. Likewise, to be a branch of the good vine, as Yahweh’s chosen, one’s seed of self must also die, so one can become the good fruit of that most holy vine.


The vine of Jesus is the “new thing” promised; but, one must choose to submit to Yahweh to become one of those branches … like rivers of eternal life springing forth in the desert.


To be formed by Yahweh means to become His Son reborn … just as Yahweh formed Adam from clay and breathed the eternal life into him that was an elohim.


Now, in Psalm 126 we find the statement of the theme that says, “You reap what you sow.”


Following Yahweh singing through Isaiah, it is one’s soul that must be sown, in submission to Yahweh … marriage to His Spirit.


Verse one of Psalm 126 (when read after the song of Isaiah) can seem to be a continuation of the promise made – to take souls of those who had forgotten the necessities of the past – where David seems to be singing about restoring past fortunes.


The two verses of Psalm 126 that show him singing, “Yahweh restored the fortunes of Zion” and “Restore our fortunes Yahweh” [David did not write “O Lord”] … those verses do not say that … not at all.


The same word is written that has been translated twice as “fortunes,” when that word means clearly “captivity.”


The first verse actually has David singing, “When brought back the captivity of Dryness ; we were like those who dream.” In that, “Zion” means “Dryness.”


“Dryness” is a parallel statement as that Yahweh made through Isaiah, where a “desert” is a natural place without “rivers” of water.


Thus, David was saying, "If you forget to serve Yahweh and do not submit to receiving His free-flowing waters of Spirit – divine Baptism – that then means to be “brought back to the captivity” that existed when the descendants of Jacob were slaves in Egypt.


To be “like those who dream” is metaphor for death. So, to be without Yahweh was to be a soul alone, unmarried to Yahweh’s Spirit … the 'walking dead.'


To be “brought back” to that state of existence was how the Judeans found out what it was like to be Egyptians without faith in the middle of a most powerful sea.


Wham! Everything collapsed in on them, making them become “like those who dream.”


Where Yahweh sang through Isaiah the promise of a “new thing,” David sang in verse two about the reaping that followed the death of self, following the captivity of having been sown in Egypt. David sang, “Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy.”


They had been sown in the sorrow of death, but they had been reaped in the laughter of harvest. Like Isaiah wrote, “they might declare my praise,” David knew that “praise” as the “gladness and joy” of a bountiful harvest.


When the translation we read says, ““among the nations, The Lord has done great things for them,” the truth changes “nations” to “people,” along with Yahweh (not “the Lord, ). That which is translated as “great things” is found to actually be saying, “grown up.”


This true translation says “among the people was said, ‘Yahweh has grown us up and made us these.’” This mirrors Isaiah singing, “a new thing will spring forth, chosen people, He formed.”


The truth then continues, as David then sang, “they grew up Yahweh has made with us , Yahweh has made is glad.”


That is where we are then led to read, “Restore our fortunes, O Lord,” when once again the focus is placed on “captivity” to “Yahweh.” Such divine “captivity” is indeed most fortunate; but all “fortune” is Spiritual. It is the “captivity” of divine marriage.


Thus, for David to sing of that being “like the watercourses of the Negev” – like Isaiah sang, “I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert” – the marriage of Spirit to soul is unseen. Those “watercourses” run deep … within … out of sight.


That then led David to sing, “Those who sowed with tears will reap with songs of joy.” The tears are the death of the self-egos dying in submission to Yahweh, as His seeds sown. The “songs of joy” come from the harvest, when one’s soul knows the promise of eternal life.


Therefore, the final verse sings, “Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.” That is willing sacrifice for a higher cause. A soul granted salvation becomes the spiritual food that will feed the multitude in ministry.


Here, it is important to realize that David wrote Psalm 126 well before Isaiah heard the question posed, “Who shall we send,? prompting him to answer, “Here I am. Send me!”


The collapse and failure of Judea and Jerusalem meant they forgot the lesson of David; so, the song sung by Yahweh, written by Isaiah, was a failure to remember self-sacrifice to Him. Remembrances that rely on brain power lose the ability to understand divine meaning divinely.


This past week, I learned something new; and, it was based on the reading from Paul’s letter to the Philippians.


The portion of verse four that we read has Paul writing, “If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more.” The key word in that is “reason.” The Greek word used is “dokei,” which means “thinks, has the opinion, or supposes (from mental perspectives).”


In Paul’s thoughts that were relative to flesh being greater than his soul, he said his reasoning was summed up as being, “circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews.”


Based on remembrances of Judaism, which were taught to Jews from birth, Paul’s brain understood he had superiorities because of his physical being. He was physically marked as a child of Yahweh by an incision made on his eight day of life. He was of a race of people whose ancestral home was the Promised Land, named Israel. His physical bloodline traced his family tree branch back to Benjamin, the youngest son of Jacob. In addition to that, Paul’s brain had been taught to understand the language of Yahweh, which was Hebrew, That placed Paul in a select class of people, which were those who read and spoke a language that nobody else on earth spoke.


That was what Paul thought, when his name was Saul. That is what every Tom, Dick and Harriet thinks, when they read these words being translated into English; and, I’m sure there are plenty who read what Paul wrote and think, “What’s wrong with that? That sounds like a pretty good heritage to me.”


That is where the door to new insight flew open to me. I have been taught by a higher mind to see capitalized words and seek deeper meaning.


When I looked up the meaning of “Hebrews” (as a pseudo-name for a people), I found the name means “Passed Over” It is rooted in the verb “'abar, which means “to pass over.”


I learned that Abraham was the first to be called a Hebrew, with that title stemming from Abraham being one who had “Passed Over” in the bloodline of Eber, the great-grandson of Noah.


The meaning behind that name said Abraham possessed the same spiritual relationship to Noah, through Eber; such that to be “Passed Over” can be seen as a spiritual reincarnation, which does not occur simply from bloodline.


This means … like we read two Sundays ago, when Moses was told Yahweh was his father-possessor, like He was the one possessing Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob … not everyone in a physical bloodline possesses a soul that has been “Passed Over” with honor.


Thus, when Paul wrote that he was “a Hebrew of Hebrews,” the mundane meaning says he was literate in a language only one race of humans spoke fluently; but the divine meaning says Saul was clueless about being “one Passed Over of those all Passed Over,” which is what mattered more to Yahweh.


As Paul, he was divinely led to know this meaning, as would be the true Christians of Philippi, whether they were born Jews or Gentiles. Being truly “Passed Over” is not restricted to physical lineage [and, neither Abraham, Isaac, nor Jacob were Jews]. None considered their people or their lands as being “Israel,” while all were the truth behind that name’s meaning. None were born of a Tribe named for Benjamin; but all were “Sons of the Right Hand” of Yahweh.


Paul told those in Philippi, “Thinking you are somebody means you are nobody.”


Everything Saul valued as a “gain” was his “loss.” He thought he was all powerful as a “Pharisee,” who was “blameless” or sin-free “under the law;” but, in reality, Saul was a weak sinner. Saul forgot what the history of Israel said, which was the truth of what made them great.


Another thing I learned was the meaning of the capitalized word “Pharisees.” That means “Expounders, Dividers, and Scientists.” They are believed to be a branch of the “Persian School” of religious thinkers. When they are said to be one of the three main “sects” of Judaic religious thought, that says the Pharisees were philosophers, whose central focus of study was the divine scrolls of Israelite history.


When Paul rejected his association with the Pharisees, ceasing to maintain that commitment to a philosophy, he "lost" the name Saul. By taking on a name that said Paul (meaning "Small"), he wanted to be identified as a true Christian (without a philosophy of man to identify with). That decision should speak loudly to all denominations of Christianity today.


The word “denomination” generally means “the name of a category;” but its primary definitions are religious or monetary. As used with Christian religion-based “names of categories,” the definition is: “a religious organization whose congregations are united in their adherence to its beliefs and practices.”


Please realize that “beliefs and practices” are based on the thoughts that are philosophical, where there should be no differences seen in the different sects of ancient Judaism and the different denominations of modern Christianity.


Saul reflected one who thought he was a bona fide Jew; and, based on their concepts of religious interpretation, Saul was “blameless,” and free to “persecute the churches.” That becomes why all Christians can talk a good game, but then gather secretly and condemn anyone whose philosophy differs from theirs.


The same flawed system that Jesus was sent to confront exists in Christianity today. Just as Paul said he found out how wrong it was to claim superiority, based on physical lineage, it is equally wrong to think one is saved by believing in God and Jesus. To think one is going to heaven because one was sprinkled with holy water as a baby, or dunked in a baptismal pool as a pre-teen is the same as Saul's proof to his piety.


It is wrong to think one is not sinning by persecuting anyone, especially while using the name of “Jesus Christ” as one’s spearhead, thrust into the sides of all opponents.


There is nothing “blameless” is any sin. You sin, you reap the debt.


There can be no justification of sin through the judgments made by Big Brain philosophers, who “divide” scripture into individual quotes to use against others.


There can be no justification of any sins by “expounding” on what Paul wrote, when one has not been divinely led to be Jesus, who led Paul to write everything he wrote.


There can be no accepting that religion is a “science,” defined by observations made, calculated by thinking, when that is routinely found to be yielding one false conclusion after another, always changing Scripture to suit one’s newest mindset.


Paul wrote to the Philippians telling them he realized how wrong his thinking was, when he became “a Christ.”


The Greek word “Christon” means a divinely elevated “Anointed One.” That means only Yahweh's “Anointment” is a benefit to anyone; and, Yahweh does not “Anoint” physical bodies of flesh. He “Anoints” souls.


To become so “Anointed,” one has to do as Isaiah and David sang. One must submit his or her soul to Yahweh, becoming “like those who dream” and those whose souls “lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick.”


To become a "Christ" means to kneel down at the altar of divine marriage and say, "I do" to each and every one of the marriage agreements (the Covenant). It means taking on the name of Yahweh in one's soul: Israel.


When one has died to become a “Christ,” then when asked by Yahweh, “Mortal, can these dry bones live?” one does not begin to think what one’s opinion should be, in response.


Paul divinely knew what his “losses” were. He was no longer Saul. He was a "Christ," in the name of Israel; but rather than flaunt that spiritual name, he chose to say, "I am now Paul."


Now, for anyone here at this bus stop that has heard me talk before, the chance is you have heard me speak of spiritual possession. Paul was spiritually possessed by the soul of Jesus, after he divinely married his soul to Yahweh’s Spirit.


The purpose of human marriage is to have babies. The purpose of divine union is to give birth to Jesus, as his soul resurrected within one's soul.


Thus, by seeing that truth, when one reads Paul speaking of “Christ Jesus” – two separately capitalized words, each with deep meaning, divinely elevated – that speaks of Paul’s soul being “Anointed” by Yahweh and where the soul of “Jesus” was resurrected.


When the soul of Jesus was resurrected within Paul’s soul, the soul of Jesus became the “Lord” over Paul’s flesh.


When Paul wrote, “I may attain the resurrection from the dead,” that means Saul’s death and Paul’s rebirth was made possible by the “resurrection” of Jesus. The seed metaphor of “death” that necessarily brings “new things to spring forth” says Saul died, so Jesus could be reborn in Paul.


The death of the self means submission to Yahweh in divine marriage. A bride becomes the possession of her husband, taking on his name, leaving her old self behind.


To see this as the truth written, in verse thirteen we read a translation that says, “Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead”. That is a poor translation that misses the truth completely.


Paul actually said this: “brothers , I myself not do consider I have attained one now : these indeed behind overlooking , these now before the face extending .”


Here, Paul was addressing the Philippians – who were souls within both male and female bodies of flesh – as “brothers.” That is a statement that recognized all to whom Paul wrote had become resurrections of Jesus, all reborn as Sons of Yahweh.


Here, Paul repeats the “I myself” that Yahweh spoke of in Isaiah’s song; when He sang: “the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise.” There was no more “I myself” in Paul, because he said “I myself not do consider.”


That lack of self-ego is then said to be because “I have attained one now.” That “one” was the soul of Jesus, where two souls were joined as “one.”


After a colon, where Paul then clarified “one now,” he wrote, “these indeed behind overlooking.” The plural number “these” confirms the truth that “one” was a uniting of two; with Paul’s host soul then taking a position of subservience, which was “behind” the soul of Jesus. The host soul of Paul was there “overlooking,” so his soul was aware of everything Jesus made his flesh do. Paul submitted control over his flesh to Jesus, his flesh's new "Lord."


Following a comma mark, Paul then said Jesus was extending forward the body of Paul, being Jesus within, while it was the face of Paul that everyone still saw.


Can you see that truth shouting loudly about divine possession?


<Look for nodding heads and shocked faces.>


It is important to see that. I recommend doing some deeper inspection of the Greek text, using the translation tool I have sent you before. It does you no good to say “Bus Stop Bob believes this.” You have to see it for yourself.


You have to plant the seed of your soul and be patient until “new things have grown up.” You have to know what Paul meant here and in all his letters.


This leads us to the Gospel reading from John. This is much deeper than it appears on the surface. However, due to the constraints of a bus schedule, I will ask you to read my commentary to see more of the depth that I cannot go into at this time.


This reading is one of three that tells of this event. In Matthew and Mark, it is clearly stated that this diner was held at the home of Simon the leper, in Bethany.


John does not mention that; so, when he writes, “Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him,” it is easy to think the dinner was in the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus; and, Martha serving there would lead one to think nothing of that. Like we read elsewhere, where Martha was busy doing household chores while Mary sat and talked with Jesus, we get the impression that Martha was one who enjoyed doing such chores around the house.


That is not why John wrote that here. Because Martha was a guest in Simon’s house, she was a volunteer servant. That must be seen as her being a willing sacrifice of herself, in order to ‘serve” Jesus and her brother Lazarus. Her service says she was happy that Lazarus was not dead.


When you grasp that hint of thankful servitude, based on love and devotion, one then must see Mary likewise taking a position of subservience. She must be seen as kneeling before Jesus, putting her hands and head at his feet.


In this way, Mary was also “serving” in that house, during an event that honored Jesus for being the Son of Yahweh. He had raised Lazarus from death.


When we read, “Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard,” that says Simon the leper (a Pharisee, thus a man of wealth) had not purchased this expensive embalming perfume.


When we read, “The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume,” that speaks of the power held by one pound of pure nard, once opened and some poured out.


To read John say, “[Mary] anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair,” the subtle thing stated is that the feet of Jesus anointed the head of Mary. While it was her act that “anointed Jesus’ feet,” she likewise anointed her head by her acts ‘with her hair.” Thus, Mary became anointed by Jesus, through her acts of submission.


Can you see that?


<Look for nodding heads.>


Good. This is important, as the conversation that takes place next, between Judas Iscariot and Jesus, has nothing to do with directly addressing Mary. Mary’s name is not mentioned after her lone naming at the beginning of verse three.


When we read John next writing, “But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples … said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” this needs to be seen as a statement about the service of Judas Iscariot. He was the accountant for the business that was Jesus’ ministry. He was making a show (like Martha and Mary) that said, “I am serving Jesus as a man with a nose for money.”


Can you see that?


<Look for nodding heads.>


John’s asides help show that the service of Judas was not genuine.


Now, the assumption, based on what Jesus said next, is that Jesus was defending Mary, for what seems to be Judas complaining about her pouring expensive perfume on his feet as being a total waste of good money.


In reality, Judas was complaining about something of great value not being known by him; and, that is shown to be a lie by John’s asides, which said (from hindsight and divine insight) that Judas was a thief, who cared nothing for the poor.


If John knew that (at whatever time), Jesus knew that all along. Jesus was led by the Mind of Yahweh – the Christ Mind (which Paul wrote of) – so Jesus knew Judas Iscariot plotted his arrest with the Sanhedrin. Jesus also was aware of his pilfering donations and contributions, along with his lack of care about anyone other than himself.


Jesus knew that Judas Iscariot was there “serving” himself and nobody else.


Here, I found the translation that has Jesus saying to Judas, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me” is another poor translation that misses a most powerful point.


When Jesus told Judas, “You will always have the poor,” that says Jesus said the soul of Judas Iscariot was spiritually poor. To say “always” or “at all times” says Jesus knew there was no hope for the eternal soul of Judas Iscariot.


The words that focus on Mary are those that speak of her “service,” based on her acts at the present. The truth of what Jesus said is this: “in order that within this enlightenment of this preparing for burial of me she may maintain the same.”


In that, the word translated as “day” must be seen as the "enlightenment" of truth that comes from Yahweh, where eternity is always in the light of truth, as no darkness (or night) exists in the heavenly kingdom.


The twist comes from being led to think Mary purchased nard for Jesus' burial, when that becomes a secondary issue. Most likely, the body of Lazarus was anointed by the same nard, only a week before. Still, Jesus was speaking of Mary’s acts that submitted herself before Jesus, placing her head at his feet, in a symbolic gesture of her soul submitting to him, as the Son of Yahweh. As such, her acts were preparing herself for her own mortal death to come, where anointing her head with the oil of Jesus’ feet was a marriage of her soul to the soul of Jesus. Therefore, “of me she may maintain the same” means her soul would be saved … two souls as one – Mary's behind and overlooking her Lord Christ Jesus.


Can you see that?


<Look for nodding heads or shocked faces.>


Here is the most powerful element in what Jesus said. John wrote the capitalized word “Aphes,” where the root verb normally means, “to send away, leave alone, permit,” implying “(a) I send away, (b) I let go, release, permit to depart, (c) I remit, forgive, (d) I permit, suffer.”


When the capitalization raises this word to a divine level of meaning, Jesus said to Judas Iscariot, “Left alone.” Unlike Mary, Judas would not have a soul united with his (as Paul had explained); so, Judas was “Sent away” by Jesus, fired as the company accountant.


That is the truth of the impoverishment that would “always be with Judas.”


In the central theme that is "You reap what you sow," Judas Iscariot is a reflection of all souls whose seed is a weed. Not capable of growing into good fruit that will become spiritual food for other souls. Weeds get reaped with the wheat; and, then weeds get thrown into the fire.


Martha, Lazarus and Mary were good seed that would gain eternal life. Judas Iscariot was a weed to burn eternally.


With that, the bus has arrived. I will end now and let you board the bus, so you can make it to your destinations on time.


I look forward to meeting with you again next Sunday … Palm Sunday.


Until then, do take care of your souls.


Amen

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