REFLECTION | ‘The kingdom of God is for the righteous’

July 30, 2017 - 9:08 AM
Photo by Bernard Testa/InterAksyon file photo.

Jesus told his disciples: “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. 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.

“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.

“Do you understand all these things?”

They answered, “Yes.”

And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”
—Matthew 13:44-52

Jesus’ parable about the Kingdom has been extensively described and pronounced. The parables in the gospel reading are sample stories that were familiar at that time. Stories about a treasure hidden in the field, about pearls, about fishing and the catch. In today’s gospel, the faithful are asked to take time to ponder and analyze the examples in these tales

The kingdom of God is likened to a treasure buried in a field and to a fine pearl.

One has to sell everything so that the person can buy the field and the finest pearl. If one has found the thing that the person is seeking, one will do what he or she can in order to have what that person wants in life.

Another parable shared by Jesus is about the net thrown into the sea to catch fish. They gather their catch and separate the good fish from the bad fish that will be thrown away. The Lord will know the wicked from the righteous, the good from the bad. Those who are good because they followed the will of the Father, they belong to God; but those who have no use will be thrown by the angels in the fiery furnace.

The kingdom of God is the grace of God that we are all looking for and seeking. It is therefore important for us to know what do we really want in life and what do we really want to happen in our lives. Let us therefore seek the principal meaning, the essence of our life.

Our search for God is also our search for His kingdom. The kingdom of God is here and now but, as Jesus had told his disciples, is not yet to its completion. Jesus has already been here with us almost 2,000 years ago and we continue to realize his mission. God is in us, present but not yet to its end. When God reigns in our lives; He stays and rules in our hearts, in our homes and families, in our communities and places of relationships, in our country and in the world today.

Kingdoms are domains. And dominions and kingdoms are ruled by sovereigns, monarchs and rulers. But there is only one kingdom that will last forever and that kingdom is where God reigns on earth and in heaven.

The parables are very relevant to us today. What we are asked to seek is the most important in life, that which gives meaning and sense.

What matters to you most? What do you value in life?

Let us check and review our values, our principles, and our ways of living. Let us assess the signs and indicators of the kingdom of God, are they present in our lives and in our relationships with one another? Do I embrace and share the values of God’s kingdom? The challenge for all of us is to become signs of God’s reign through our love for God and neighbors. Love is a real and tangible sign of the kingdom—with love comes faith, hope, peace, integrity, respect, humility, and the like.

Let us pray, reflect and ask ourselves:

How do I search for the treasure in the field and the finest pearl?

Do I find God in my heart, in my life?

Am I a good catch? Am I a good Christian?

Am I sign of God’s reign? Do I represent and manifest God’s presence and love in my family and community?

Almighty and Ever-living God, open our eyes, hands and hearts that we may only find the values of Your Kingdom. Lead us towards You and to our brothers and sisters. May we live a righteous life so we can discern your will for us. This we ask through Christ or Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Let us pray for those whom we had promised to pray for, may the Lord listen to their prayers and grant their intentions. We also pray for those who are discouraged and hopeless in our world today, may the Lord comfort them, inspire them and streghten them with His saving love.