The Joy of the Kingdom
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 13:44-52.
Jesus said to 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.”
The past Sundays’ Gospel readings are part of the ‘Day of Parables’ with Jesus in Matthew. We have been tackling several parables of the Kingdom of God. These short stories are Jesus’ way of explaining the mystery of the Kingdom and to think that there are many of them, the Kingdom must be inexhaustible. Jesus made it clear that to establish the Kingdom here on earth is his primary mission.
What makes Jesus so passionate about it? Today’s readings speak of two men: one stumbled upon something valuable, while another found it in his search. The first was unintentional, the second intentional. These perhaps are the two ways we discover the Kingdom in our lives. Either we just stumble upon it or that we search for it throughout our lives. In both instances, the two men were filled with joy and excitement they were able to leave everything else for what they found.
The Kingdom of God is something that possesses us with joy and excitement. It captivates us and challenges us to leave everything else for its sake. It gives us meaning and reason. Whether we found it or it found us what matters is the encounter of love and joy. We can say that the Kingdom is a state where God’s love is reigning over you. You suddenly find that your life has meaning and direction in the service of God or that a series of difficulties forced you to look at your life with the eyes of God and you find peace. A deeper look into the Kingdom would reveal that it is about Jesus. Jesus is the Kingdom of God made man. When you found him or that he found you, he gives meaning to your life and you can put down everything else to follow him.