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Greetings to all who love to wander along the paths of the Holy Scriptures! The purpose of this blog is to share some of the insights of ordinary Catholics who have begun to delve into the mysteries of the Sacred Scriptures. Hopefully you will find these reflections inspiring and insightful. We are faithful to the Church, but we are not theologians; we intend and trust that our individual reflections will remain within the inspired traditions of the Church. (If you note otherwise please let me know!) Discussion and comments are welcome, but always in charity and respect! Come and join us as we ponder the Sacred Scriptures, which will lead us on the path into His heart, which "God alone has traced" Job 28:23.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Kingdom of Heaven is Like....

Sunday, July 27: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Gospel for this Sunday is a continuation of the teaching Jesus shared with his disciples with regard to the Kingdom of Heaven.  Again Jesus speaks in parables.  This week Jesus shares three analogies which help the disciples, and us, gain a better understanding of the Kingdom.  Jesus describes the kingdom as a treasure, as a merchant and a net. Both the parable of the hidden treasure and that of the pearl of great price tell us that we cannot fully understand the value of the Kingdom of Heaven and that in order to obtain the
Kingdom we must be willing to give up our attachment to earthly things.  That is not always an easy thing to do; too often earthly things can become our idols. St. Gregory Nazianzen (died in 390 AD) described his Pearl of Great Price as being the Word.  He said that he "would never willingly neglect this possession, but on the contrary honor it and embrace it and take more pleasure in it than in all other things combined that delight the multitude --he made it the partner of his whole life and his guide. Would that I too, can continue to treasure the Word and avoid falling into the pattern of embracing the idols of our world.

As I thought more and more about the net, a dragnet, I thought about the Final Judgment.  The righteous  will be separated from the evil ones.  We women and men will be gathered up and we will be judged by our faith and our works.  As I think of all of us as various species of fish, I pray that I will be judged as a fish worth keeping and not a fish to be thrown back into the abyss "where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."

In these past weeks, we have been reading about the Kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus has told us parable after parable in order to help us better understand the Kingdom.  Beginning to know more about the Kingdom is truly a gift from God.  Those mysteries are beyond us, but Jesus in His love for us gives us a glimpse of the Kingdom.  Just as in our first reading of today, Solomon asked God to give him an understanding heart, we too are being given a gift of understanding.

Jesus described the Kingdom to us in such ordinary things like seeds, light, salt, yeast, farming, fishing, and baking.  New life comes with the Kingdom of Heaven and Jesus helped His followers understand this. As I mediated upon the Gospels of these past three weeks, I wondered what ordinary things I might use to help increase my understanding of the Kingdom and how Jesus might use those things.   For example, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like my computer.  It can connect me to people all over the world and help me share my thoughts and love for our Savior no matter where I am or where others are."
How could you complete this sentence?

 The Kingdom of Heaven is like ----------

Peace and Blessings,

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