Focusing the Gospel
Key words and phrases: The kingdom of heaven is like, Do you want us to, when full-grown, leavened, what has lain hidden, children of the kingdom, end of the age
To the point: “The kingdom of heaven is like … ” Jesus uses three com- parisons to explain this mystery of God's Presence and reign. The first parable speaks of discernment; the second of full growth; the third of transformation. In this is the realization of the kingdom of heaven: our discerning God's will, our growing into full stature as “children of the kingdom," opening ourselves to being transformed into those remaining faithful until “the end of the age.” The way we live reveals God's “mastery over all things” (First Reading) and that we have become “what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.”
Connecting the Gospel …
… to the First Reading: God's presence and reign is visible in the slow but steady process of God's “mastery over all things” (First Reading). Our own discernment of God's will for our lives, our growth in goodness, and our transformation into who God calls us to be is dependent upon God's care, justice, leniency, kindness, forgiveness.
… to experience: Our cultural expectation of “mastery” includes power over others, control, domination, force, manipulation. In contrast God's “might is the source of justice.” And so God's mastery unfolds in the strikingly different ways described in the first reading.