Over these last four weeks the central message of the Gospel has been the challenge for us to be people of the Kingdom.
In many respects we might view the term ‘Kingdom of God’ as a concept which does not resonate with our world in which immediate information and ability to communicate is at the press of a button.
We can easily pass off the concept of the Kingdom of God as unconnected pious language which has little or no connection for today. The German theologian John Fuellenbach SVD has this to say, “ The bringing about of the Kingdom of God is the ultimate goal of something like history: it is the fulfilment of the age - old dream, of humankind and of nature: the New Heaven and the Near Earth...it is the realisation that it is this our old, sin - permeated, corrupt world, a world in which there is so much hatred, egotism, oppression and hopelessness, that will be the object of transformation into the New Heaven and the New Earth.
This world is the arena where God’s ultimate plan for creation unfolds. The Ki ngdom of God happens here, in the midst of our human affairs. It is meant for this world here and now, it happens already in our present.
With the recent MH17 disaster, the continual images of wars and devastation in the Middle East, the displacement of peoples, the suffering in Sudan, we may well question the presence of the Kingdom of God in the world. Such violence and trauma are far removed from the images of the Kingdom we find in today’s Gospel, those of treasure, a pearl of great price and a large haul of fish.
The Gospel draws us to consider that which we hold as treasure in our lives. What values steer our lives and relationships in 2014?
What is the pearl of great price in life and would we be prepared to give up everything to retain it? May be a key to answering these questions lies in the first reading of today’s Liturgy of the Word.
Appearing to Solomon in a dream God says, ‘Ask what you would like me to give you.’ Solomon replies ‘Give your servant a heart to understand how to discern between good and evil.’ God answers ‘I give you a heart wise and shrewd as none before you has had and none will have after you.’ Let us pray that we have discerning hearts.
Hearts that will recognise the dignity of the individual and that every person is made in the image and likeness of God.
Discerning hearts working towards the goal that humanity has a right to be free, to know security, to be nourished, and to live without fear. Acknowledging the difficulty in our world while discerning the needs the Kingdom of God will be easily recognised in the midst of our human affairs.
What a treasure!
Gabriel Williams osu