SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A)

1Kings 3:5, 7-12; Rom 8:28-30; Matt 13:44-52

I would like to share with you a poem entitled Finding God. The poem runs this way:

Many times I attempted to find God in the midst of the busy world HE KEPT SILENT

Many times I attempted to find ready made answers to my problems HE HIDE HIMSELF

Many time I asked Him to grant my wishes HE DID NOT LISTEN

It is only them when I kept silent and stop looking for Him when I found Him SITTING NEXT TO ME

SHOWING ME THE MANY SPLENDORED THINGS THAT CREATED FOR ME.

I don’t know if you experience this too, but I experienced it myself. It is because every time I’m worried where to get all these things, they do not come. Instead, every time I leave everything to Him, they just come without my knowledge and expectations.

We are given three parables in our gospel today. These parables are about the hidden treasure, the pearl and the dragnet. When we talk about parable, Biblical scholars would say that it talks about the Kingdom of God, what it is it all about and how does it happen.

So what does Kingdom all about? In the Old Testament, Kingdom of God refers to the provident and protective kingship of God over the chosen people. The fruit of this Kingdom is a whole moral order of peace, justice and mercy.

In the New Testament, Jesus proclaimed that the Kingdom of God is near at hand (Matt 4:17). He called, therefore, for conversion and repentance and for watchfulness. He also said that the Kingdom of God was for sinners and outcasts, the poor and the despised too. Entrance into the Kingdom will be determined by our response to the neighbor in need.

Early Christians like St. Paul and St. Luke proclaimed Christ as the personification of the Kingdom. According to St. Augustine and St. Gregory the Great, they identified the Kingdom of God with the Church; that the Church is the Kingdom. So, we must enter and be members of this kingdom or else. But our modern understanding of God’s Kingdom is this:

First, it is God’s reign here on earth whereby He brings humanity and the world the blessings of salvation.

Second, it is the total liberation of mankind involving all dimensions of man (socio-cultural, religious, economical, political and ecological). Is mankind’s final destiny where God shall be all in all, where peace, love, truth and justice reside?

Third, it is God’s eternal rule where love reigns, the supreme dominion of the Father over all things and mankind’s complete ultimate happiness.

If you ask me what is my own definition of the Kingdom of God, I borrowed this from the teachings of the Church. It is to accept and to do God’s will. Whenever and wherever we find the promotion of the values of God’s Kingdom: truth, justice, love and peace. If these values rule people’s lives, it means that God’s Kingdom is reigning in their hearts, in their community or society.

But try to look at around us, can we say that God’s Kingdom reigns in the hearts and minds of people? We can say ‘No.’ It is because there are so many people who are hungry for power, for prestige, for money and for security.

How to realize this Kingdom into our lives? For me, it is just simple. I’ll give you some practical guidelines for a Christian: Show your resources or your 3 Ts (Time, Talent and Treasure), Give to the needy, Love more simply, Visit the imprisoned, offer hospitality, visit the sick, support the bereaved, admonish the sinner, spread the good news of the Kingdom of God, counsel the doubtful, comfort the lonely, bear wrongs patiently, forgive all injuries, free your heart from hatred, free your mind from worry, live simply, expect less, give more and pray for the living and the dead.

These are very simple, very practical. They are not impossible to do and let us joyfully do them.

See Today’s Readings:  Cycle A

OPTION  01,   02,   03,   04,

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