Friday, December 28, 2007

"The kingdom of God is like..."

Eucharistic Adoration tonight, 7-8 pm, SAA Church. All who wish to adore Jesus in the Eucharist are invited!!
The following are my notes from the reflection I gave on Dec. 21 on the parables of Jesus, “The kingdom of God is like…”

I. Welcome (to newcomers)
- to Adoration
- to Advent series

II. Parables
- teach about the kingdom of God
- show religious genius
- the most prominent form of Jesus’ teaching
- surprising, mysterious, hidden

- Jesus wants to show that the kingdom is hidden
- “kingdom of God is like…”
- uses ambiguous images
- reveals to Apostles; keeps hidden from people b/c kingdom is hidden
- doesn’t want to make crystal-clear; need faith
“let those who have ears hear”
- know how to interpret parable

- familiar + unfamiliar
- Jesus speaks about the unfamiliar (kingdom) by using familiar images (treasure, pearl, feast, e.g.)
- tries to teach people about something they don’t know by using things they do know
- meets them on their level and raises them up

- conversion
- through some parables, Jesus introduces a new way of thinking
- see things as God sees them
- workers in the vineyard, e.g.
- God’s generosity + mercy
- grace is a gift, not something you earn

- kingdom is here, but is also outstanding
- present and future
- if it’s totally present, Jesus could present it crystal-clear
- but it’s still mysterious

III. Themes / understandings of some parables

- what Heaven is like:

a. buried treasure (Cantalamessa)
b. a great pearl
c. a wedding feast (Cana, Ephesians, Revelation)

- Prodigal Son
- Confession / Reconciliation
- Pope Benedict XVI
- “all I have is yours” (Lk 15:31) – father of prod. son
- is equivalent to what Jesus says in his high-priestly prayer to the Father in Jn 17:10- “all I have is yours and all you have is mine”

- mustard seed
- faith (individual)
- Church

- the unmerciful servant
- forgiveness + God’s forgiveness
- “forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive those who trespass
against us”
- i.e., if we don’t forgive others, then God won’t forgive us

IV. Parables + Eucharist
- any speak directly about the Eucharist? No
- but, many definitely refer indirectly to it
- treasure hidden in the field

The Eucharist is the greatest treasure on earth


At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Jesus' treatment of the apostles, didn't He hold back sometimes and only gradually show them who He was because only in that way could they accept it? Like He knew that in their humanity they would be limited in their ability to comprehend what they were coming to and so He had to pace them in a way. He knew that they would struggle with unbelief. If this is true (I'm no scripture scholar), does it have relevance for us thousands of years later? Is the waiting we endure maybe part of His plan for our own good? And isn't it different for different people?

At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tonight's Adoration reflection was great. I hope FG chooses to share it again. It was timely for me. The idea that Mary was called, not only to bring this child into the world, but to actually raise him, is a good thing upon which to reflect. The idea that Mary & Joseph were called upon to raise pure love with love is an incredible call to all parents. Our children come into this world pure, and although there's a reality of what our world will inspire, I believe it an achievable goal to raise them with love and the love of Christ.

Mary loved Jesus enough to allow him his fate. I had problems with that idea for some time, but I've begun to think differently. Maybe it is because I have a child who is ready to leave the nest and make his own way that my thinking has changed. I have my own ideas about the where's and what's regarding his path, but I understand that I must step back and let him have what he is meant to have. It's hard!! I had an idea that Mary was somehow complacent in Jesus' fate and thought of that in a negative way. When I look to Mary's experiences in relation to my own experiences as a parent, I can understand (at least a little bit) about the faith of Mary to participate in Jesus’ fate.

At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon #2 sounds like I missed a wonderful adoration reflection. Oh Friday nights! It seems like that is a busy night because my kids need rides to the basketball games/other activities right at the same time.

Reflecting on Mary and what she must have endured when she watched her most precious, perfect son crucified is unbearable. It seems throughout His life, she knew that every thing that happened to Him was a fulfillment of God's will.
I see nothing in the scriptures of Mary trying to prevent/persuade/control Jesus'destiny. What perfect faith!

I have been praying for quite a while that my children would eventually answer God's call to their vocations. They are teens and eager to explore, think about, and express their dreams.

My soon to be 14 year old son has been discussing a call to the priesthood. He first considered becoming a deacon to keep the possibility of marriage open. I do not pressure him......just listen, ask and answer questions. He yearns to discuss issues of morality from his own small world to that of the larger outer world.
Our last conversation, he said "Mom, I am a priest." Literally saying to me he knows in his heart that this is his calling. He did not mean that he is a priest right now of course!

Well what greater gift to a mother?
I am a single mother so I went to private adoration to give glory to God. I also know that my son could change his mind/direction 1000x or he might not become a priest. I just praised God for what is happening now, the present.

Someone commented "oh but don't you want lots of grandchildren." No, I want God's will for my son's life. At this time, he appears to have a call to the priesthood.

At 10:34 PM, Blogger fran said...

Anon 3,
Thought I would share this prayer, "For A Child's Vocation" with you.

"Dear Lord Jesus, you have entrusted this child to my keeping. He/she is growing older now and must soon decide upon a future state of life. Please help him/her and help me to help my child to make the decisions you want. I would be very proud and happy if you called him/her to make a complete consecration of his/her life to you, but you know what is best. Whatever are your designs, just let my child know them, and grant the needed grace to follow them."

What you have written here is most beautiful. Have you considered writing down your conversations with your son and the thoughts he has shared with you? It would be a special keepsake for both of you.

At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A while back, I worked for an organizing that conducted seminars about making ones life better and creating a plan to cultivate the things that we identify as important to us. One segment of the seminar addressed parent/child issues and how we create conversations about ourselves as a result of those relationships. I would speak during the seminars about that segment of the schedule and why it especially helped me. During that time in my life, I came to understand that all of us, at any point in time, can do only the best we know to do. At that time, twenty years ago, I looked at that lesson from a child’s perspective looking toward a parent. I gained the understating that my parents did the best they knew to do for me, and because they are human and therefore inherently flawed, they could not possibly be the best for me in all things at all times. They did their best, but they made mistakes.

Now, I look at that lesson from a new perspective- as a parent looking to my children. It's particularly relevant to me now, as I'm dealing with a few issues with my children that have me troubled. I do the best I know to do, but inevitably, I will fail them in some ways- hopefully small ways. I can only do is what I believe is right, pray for guidance, recognize when I make mistakes (then apologize) and keep going.


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