Faith · Religious life · spirituaility

July 23rd – The kingdom of heaven is like . . .

Scripture Reflection . . .

First Reading:  Wisdom 12:13-19

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 86 “Lord, you are good and forgiving.”

Second Reading: Romans 8:26-27

Gospel: Matthew 13:24-43

This week, Jesus continues using parables to share what the kingdom of heaven and God is like.  He uses images the people of that time would connect with and understand rather than teaching Theological concepts.  These parables would often confuse people since the images would be unconventional.  The kingdom of heaven . . . is not what you might expect.

a man sowing good seed in a field and letting the weeds grow with the wheat;  Who would do that!

a mustard seed that a person sowed in a field – the smallest seed becomes the largest plant;  How is that possible?

yeast that a woman took and mixed with flour to leaven the whole batch. A woman representing the kingdom of God! And wouldn’t unleavened bread be more symbolic and holy?

The kingdom of heaven is a subtle reality among us, often not what we expect or even notice: tiny seed growing until it becomes a field of wheat or mustard; unassuming yeast that forms a loaf of bread.  Like God, it is not forceful and powerful (not tearing out weeds from among the wheat); but rather as, the Book of Wisdom proclaims, “though you are master of might, you judge with clemency, and with much lenience you govern us . . .” And the Responsorial exclaims that the Lord is good and forgiving.

The kingdom of heaven may not be what we expect but it is right here, right now and it is about love and mercy.

It may be the kindness extended to others throughout the day (Wisdom also shares “those who are just must be kind . . .”)

It might be accepting God’s mercy to free us from guilt and shame or allowing us to have mercy on another.

It might be believing in God’s love and presence in a difficult time even when you don’t feel it.

It may be a group of people coming together to witness inclusion and peace.

It could be children raising awareness and funds by running a bake sale . . .

In Our Lives as Sisters of the Holy Redeemer . . .

This past week we experienced the kingdom of God . . .

In the diverse gathering of peoples for a prayer service remembering the lives of four young men who were killed.  A group of people uniting in prayer for peace, hope and healing.

amidst the collaboration of many people helping us prepare for the upcoming vacation bible school.

When families and individuals representing a variety of cultures from the community garden gathered for a social celebrating and enjoying the fruits of the garden.

In the sharing of our faith experiences during communal prayer.

In the openness and faith of our Sisters in leadership roles as they traveled to participate in an international meeting of our Congregation.

In Your Life . . .

Now is a good time to pause a moment to realize you are in the presence of a God who loves you unconditionally.

You may then wish to ask this amazing God to help you notice where you experienced kindness, love, and mercy this past week.

Bring your prayer to a close thanking God for the the glimpses of the kingdom of heaven in your life and asking for any help you may need participating in sharing the kingdom of love and mercy with others tomorrow.

Blessings on your week!