Posted by prepareformass on July 20, 2008
Prepare for Mass – 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
God told Solomon in a dream to ask something and he would in turn give it to him. Solomon asked for an understanding heart to distinguish right from wrong. God was so pleased with this, he gave him a heart so wise in understanding that nobody in the past or to come would equal – 1 Kgs 3:5, 7-12.
Right judgement or the wisdom to know the difference between right from wrong which is sought after by so many can be found in God’s law in the old testament which is renewed and fullfilled in the new testament. “Teaching from your lips is more precious to me than heaps of silver and gold- Ps 119:72.”
In Mt 13:44-49, Jesus gives three parables of the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus said to his disciples:
1) “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
2) Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.
3) Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Notice the response sell all and buy in the first two parables. Also notice what happens to the bad fish. Moral truths do not depend on people holding them. Just because we believe something is right or wrong doesn’t make it right or wrong. Jesus Christ is the Truth. Cultural norms for good behavior and bad behavior are not dictated by pop culture. We may even get to a point in time when need to face the reality that the good we thought was good is not at all good and the treasure we were searching for was right there hidden in the field waiting for us to uncover. Once found, we may find ourselves totally selling off what we thought were treasures for things that are worth much more than silver and gold. I think I might sell my bad attitude for kindness and love.
St Paul in his letter to the Romans says that “we know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” He made us in the image and likeness of Himself and though we are broken by our sin, God has redeemed mankind and all of creation through Jesus’ Passion, Death, and Resurrection. We are all called into communion with God in the kingdom of heaven. “And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified – Rom 8:30.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 546
Jesus’ invitation to enter his kingdom comes in the form of parables, a characteristic feature of his teaching. Through his parables he invites people to the feast of the kingdom, but he also asks for a radical choice: to gain the kingdom, one must give everything. Words are not enough, deeds are required. The parables are like mirrors for man: will he be hard soil or good earth for the word? What use has he made of the talents he has received? Jesus and the presence of the kingdom in this world are secretly at the heart of the parables. One must enter the kingdom, that is, become a disciple of Christ, in order to “know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven”. For those who stay “outside”, everything remains enigmatic <-(not clearly seen or easily distinguished).