The new Gathering Space and Fellowship Hall have been a big hit with everyone who has been able to use them in the last several weeks. We have received congratulations and many compliments from visitors and folks far and near. It just seems the space really feels right… everyone feels ‘at home.’ Praise the Lord!
Stories can communicate so many layers of meaning that simple sentences miss. Jesus uses them so effectively and we call them parables. His words challenge us to listen with more than our ears or see with more than our eyes.
Jesus wants us to penetrate the meaning and reach understanding of the heart. His stories carry with them deep truths of a mystery being revealed for our good and our eternal benefit.
The Gospel of last Sunday gave us the parables of the sowing of seeds and weeds, the delay of the harvest and judgement, flour, yeast and dough rising, tiny seeds and large shrubs. It does not sound very heavenly, but Jesus revealed the depth of God’s patience and mercy, the power of God’s grace to touch and transform, and His rich providential plan of salvation.
We are not the final judge…but God is. We see things in a very limited way…but God’s view is so much greater. We think small and difficult… but God’s plan is so much more expansive! Let us put our trust in Him…and joyfully watch His kingdom grow in us and in the world!
Now we move with Jesus into a field to hear the story/parable of someone discovering hidden treasure, and then to a merchant searching for fine pearls, and finally to a fisher- man hauling in a net filled with all sorts of fish of which he sorts out the good from the bad. All of these images help us to understand Jesus’ teaching about some deep truths about the Kdom of God.
We tend to value earthly treasure…money and the stuff money can buy. It seems for the moment really valuable…but is it? Since we tend to think in those terms, Jesus uses an image of a man finding/discovering a buried treasure. The man is willing to sell everything he owns to buy the field in which the treasure has been hidden in order to acquire the treasure. Jesus wants us to hear how valuable the treasure of discovering the Kingdom of Heaven is…it is worth everything and more! So, the real treasure is the Kingdom of Heaven/God. Are we convinced of that?
Remember the man was not really searching for hidden treasure much less the Kingdom of God. He was just doing normal farm work and happened upon the treasure in a very surprising manner. The key thing is that he took advantage of what he discovered…he seized the opportunity with all of his energy and with all of his resources! The question remains for us about our seizing the opportunity of the Kingdom of God, which is before us…, or are we to be enamored with the kingdom of the world and all the stuff it offers us?
Another story/parable Jesus tells us reflects about a person of a whole different kind economic circumstance. It is not the poor peasant digging for a meager living from the land. But, we find a successful and wealthy merchant/ jeweler applying his trade searching for the finest things in life…fine pearls which were the most valued items of their day. We hear how he willingly sold everything…everything he had…to buy this one most precious jewel! It is not about pearls…it is about the Kingdom of God. It is the most precious thing there is and the most valuable! It is worth everything! Do we buy into what Jesus is teaching…or are we still enamored by all that the world has to offer?
Missionary is coming…the weekend of August 12-13. Each summer we welcome a Missionary who is representing the effort to spread the Gospel to others…making disciples of all the nations. This year our Missionary is representing the Glenmary Home Missioners. Let us give him a warm welcome and generous support.
Parish Staff Retreat…will be held on Thursday, August 3…offices will be closed.
Click to read From the Desk of Fr. John 07-23-17
Click to read From the Desk of Fr. John 07-16-17
Click to read From the Desk of Fr. John 07-09-17