July 26, 2014
Matthew 13: 44-52
God Searching for Treasures
Today Jesus gives us a pair of parables that complement each other.
Let’s just look at the main verbs that describe the actions of the two characters in the two parables, namely “to find” and “to search.”
Merriam-Webster Dictionary online gives three main definitions for “to find.”
1. to discover (something or someone) without planning or trying to : to discover (something or someone) by chance
2. to get or discover (something or someone that you are looking for)
3. to discover or learn (something) by studying about it
“To search” also has three definitions
1. to carefully look for someone or something : to try to find someone or something
2. to carefully look for someone or something in (something)
3. to carefully look through the clothing of (someone) for something that may be hidden
The image of the “merchant searching” clears any ambiguity that the Kingdom of God can be discovered “without planning” or “by chance” (the first meaning of “find.”)
There is nothing “by chance” or “without planning” with God and God’s Kingdom.
Some commentators also suggest that the treasure and the pearl of great price can be references to each person created by God, and redeemed by the passion, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ. For sure, our existence and membership in God’s Reign is not by chance nor without God’s planning.
How do I treasure myself and the gift of membership in God’s Kingdom?
July 20, 2014
Matthew 13: 24-43
A giant sequoia tree can be taller than a 20-story building, and longer than a Boeing 747 at over 300 feet.
Yet, its seed is tiny. One seed, among many, hidden in a cone the size of an egg, can grow into such a tree. And one seed is all it takes.
Similarly, the mystery of the Kingdom of God, as Jesus tells us using the images that the people of his time can relate – the mustard seed and yeast.
And it is also true with the seed of evil and destruction. The weeds, tiny as they are, can choke up the wheat of goodness.
May we strive to always sow the seeds of the Kingdom, the tiny yet powerful seeds of love.
July 12, 2014
Blessed Are Your Eyes, Blessed Are Your Ears
One of the themes of this passage can be seen as the continuation of a theme in the passage we heard last Sunday. Then, Jesus praised the Father for revealing the mysteries of God’s Kingdom to the little ones.
And today, Jesus identifies the blessing given to the little ones of God’s Kingdom, “Blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
We must recognize and appreciate what we have seen and heard of the mysteries of God and the Kingdom are God’s gifts and blessings. Only then can we be open to receive God’s mysteries, and be the rich soil where the seed grows and produces fruit.
July 5, 2014
The Father’s Gracious Will
By this point in Matthew’s account of Jesus’ life and ministry, Jesus has encountered opposition from the religious leaders of the time. In Chapter 9, they questions Jesus when he tells a paralytic that his sins are forgiven. They also challenge Jesus for eating with tax collectors and sinners. These leaders are regarded, and probably see themselves, as “the wise and learned.”
And immediately prior to these verses, Jesus has called Capernaum to task for its pride, “As for you, Capernaum: ‘Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.’” (11: 23)
It is the “gracious will” of the Father that the Son reveals the Father not to the wise and learned, our the proud, but to the little ones.
The word gracious comes from the word grace, which Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online defines as, “the unmerited gift of divine favor.”
Let’s spend a little time reflecting on what Jesus is telling us:
It is the Father’s gracious will that Jesus came to reveal God to us, the little ones.