Reflection: Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church

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[1st Reading – 1Kgs.3:5,7-12; Ps.118; 2nd Reading – Rom.8:28-30; Gospel – Mt.13:44-52]

New & Old

Lately, in the gospels, we have been hearing a lot about ‘seeds’ and how they were being compared to either the ‘Word of God’ itself or the ‘Subjects to the Kingdom of Heaven’.  We’ve also heard other parables where the Kingdom of Heaven is specifically compared to a ‘mustard seed’ and to ‘yeast’.

Today, that same ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ is being compared to three specific things: a ‘treasure’, ‘fine pearls’ and a ‘dragnet’.  Let’s take the first two examples to begin with: we are told that those who found the treasure/the fine pearls ‘sold everything they owned and bought’ the whole field which contained the treasure or the fine pearls that they were looking for. In both cases, they were ready to lose all their belongings for something really special … something that is worth giving up everything they owned in order to obtain it.  Who would not do the same thing upon the discovery of such a treasure or fine pearls?  Jesus’ ‘treasure’ and ‘fine pearls’ are the Kingdom of Heaven.  Who would do the same thing for the Kingdom of Heaven?

Now let’s look at the third comparison where the Kingdom of Heaven is compared to a ‘dragnet cast into the sea’.  While the first two examples are presenting the action of one single individual interested in something for which he wants so much that he is ready to do away with everything else he owns in order to have what he has found, the third comparison is about the dragnet which ’brings in a haul of everything’.  There is no particular interest of any one individual: of course, there are the fishermen who are open to everything that enters into the net … and who, then, collect what is good and throw away what is of no use…

The Kingdom of heaven is like this dragnet:  it is open for anyone; God wants to offer his presence to all (in fact He created every human being in the same way); God gives the possibility to each and every human being an indistinctive way to accept/reject God’s presence.  While God’s offer is open to everyone, accepting/rejecting God is a free personal choice offered to every human creature.

But of course there are consequences that follow this choice.  In the eyes of God one can either be ‘just’ (i.e. because he/she has chosen to follow the Word of God) or ‘wicked’ (i.e. because he/she refused the presence of the Lord).  We all know very well what the consequences are with each choice … and the choice is always open for us to decide!

“Lord, we understand that life is made of choices and we sometimes fail to make the right choice.  Help us make the proper choices in life. Help us to understand your love for us and in our weak human fragility give us the wisdom to remember that your strength is always there to help us when we have not the strength to do it ourselves.  Thank you Lord!”

 

 

Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo http://www.stpatrickwaterloo.org.uk/ )

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