"Use your sickle and cut down the harvest, for now is the time to reap; the earth's harvest is fully ripe." —Revelation 14:15
Because of Steinbeck's novel, many people have heard the phrase, "the grapes of wrath." Biblically, this evokes an eerie image of divine judgment. Picture millions of grapes thrown "into the huge wine press of God's wrath" (Rv 14:19). "So much blood (pours) out of the wine press that for two hundred miles around, it (reaches) as high as a horse's bridle" (Rv 14:20).
However, on Judgment Day, we will see the harvest consisting of not only the grapes of God's wrath but also the wheat of God's mercy. Jesus Himself will harvest "the citizens of the kingdom" (Mt 13:38). "Then the saints will shine like the sun in their Father's kingdom" (Mt 13:43).
We all will be harvested. Will we be harvested as wheat or weeds? (Mt 13:24-25) Wheat or grapes? Sheep or goats? (Mt 25:32) Will our future be love or wrath? What will happen to us? "God has not destined us for wrath but for acquiring salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us, that all of us, whether awake or asleep, together might live with Him" (1 Thes 5:9-10).
If Jesus has His way, the Last Judgment will be a day of greatest joy on which we receive God the Father's blessing and inherit the kingdom prepared for us from the creation of the world (Mt 25:34). Let Jesus have His way. If you live and work for His harvest (see Mt 9:38), you will be harvested as wheat.
Prayer: Jesus, harvest me into Your everlasting kingdom.
Promise: "The Lord is King. He has made the world firm, not to be moved; He governs the peoples with equity." —Ps 96:10
Praise: Bishop Ruiz burns with zeal for the gospel. He asked his people: "Can people tell that Christ is in you, before you will tell them?"
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 2, 1996
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 1996