Fr. Joseph Pham Quoc Van, O.P.
My dear bothers and sisters,
In the today Gospel, Jesus tells us about The Kingdom of God. There is a simple question: what is the Kingdom of God? The Kingdom of God, always somewhat mysterious for us. The Kingdom, treasure of great value and sacrifice are the key words that help to understand the central message of this Sunday.
We cannot explain exactly what the Kingdom of God is, most of the parables often begin with the phrase “the Kingdom of God is like…” It means that, through the parables we can understand the mystery of The Kingdom. Truly, from two parables in the today Gospel we learn that the Kingdom has been a well kept secret and that when we discover that secret, we should, if necessary, do anything to make it our own.
In the first parable Jesus uses the metaphor of the treasure buried in a field. A person finds it and then hides it and goes and sells everything he has in order to buy that field to secure the treasure. Jesus Christ is the person in the parable who finds the treasure of great value - you and I, and loves us so much that He goes all the way to the die on the Cross to save us. The idea obviously is that when Jesus finds each of us, he transforms us into his disciples and makes all efforts to save us. In this meaning, God’s Kingdom is God’s will, God’s desire for human life, where we find the quality of our human life. God’s Kingdom is the expression of His will that our life, and those who live in our life, might be filled with His joy, His love, His mercy, His justice, His truth, and His peace.
In other way, we can understand that the buried treasure is whatever has helped us to discover God’s plan whatever in our lives has helped us realize the value of living in the Kingdom. Similarly, the pearl is beautiful in itself, rare, worth whatever it takes to own it.
There is another question: where is the Kingdom of God? In this question we need to discover that, it is on earth, here, as it is in heaven, in us… as it is in God. It is our human life, that sacred space in which lives the very Spirit of God, the very life of God. If that’s not true then the Incarnation, God the Son becoming man, is meaningless. The Kingdom is found where God wants to establish it, in our human relationships with each other.
Whenever we pray the Lord’s Prayer we pray to God: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done ON EARTH….” God’s desire and will is nothing else but that we be filled with the fullness of well-being, happy living, total life. Nothing else is God’s will. The Kingdom of God here on earth is human life, high quality human life, filled with His glory.
We wonder what the Kingdom is for us, in everyday terms, as we live out life here in our city this week, next month, throughout the rest of this year, and beyond. How do we identify and describe God’s Kingdom here on earth?
We also wonder how much we value the Kingdom that Christ is talking about, how much we see ourself as part of that Kingdom, and what price we have had to pay to be part of it. Can we establish the Kingdom of God on earth today? When we pray “Thy kingdom come” can we be more aware of what part we are to play in making the Kingdom in process a reality and advancing it.
If we know how to invest, then make this investment, just as did the shrewd businessman in today’s gospel account; if we do, we will live a happy, quality life because we will be doing God’s will and living life of real value in His Kingdom. Amen.
Fr. Joseph Pham Quoc Van, O.P.