The Extraordinary in the Ordinary
July 27, 2014
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
This 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time, offers us the last in a series of parables which Jesus uses to give us a sense of The Reign, or the Kingdom of God. In fact, He frequently used the ordinary, the familiar, the common place, to help better acquaint us with the Extraordinary, The Sacred Mystery, The Transcendent God. In this way, The Lord helps us to see that God is with us in the “here and now” and yet there is far more that awaits us when we at last break free, from time and begin to exist in eternity.
If you have made any effort whatsoever, over these past weeks, to reflect on The Lord’s parables about The Reign…The Kingdom… of God, then hopefully you have come to appreciate that it is impossible for our finite minds to fully comprehend what this is all about. Nevertheless, in spite of our limitations, there are SOMETHINGS we can grasp about The Reign, or the Kingdom of God; which might explain the series of parables. It’s as if Jesus kept grasping for examples or images…so that we could grasp the reality that when time ends, God’s will and ways will reign supreme. Yet, even now we can strive to live in this world, as we will exist in eternity.
Another way to say this, is that God’s Reign is here and now…because Christ is here…in “the now”, fully present to the universe through the power of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, not everyone is wise enough to see this is the truth. Many turn a blind eye to Christ’s Way. And so the existence that God yearns for us all to enjoy, escapes us in its fullness. This is evidenced by the reality that we continue to experience as “ordinary”….things such as war, violence, discrimination and poverty. When Jesus returns in glory, all that will be reversed, and only then will we fully comprehend what God has ready for those who love the Lord.
Now it seems to me anyway, that the thing about parables is that while they offer an image of something that’s challenging to imagine, they also invite us to dig deeper. I wonder if just possibly, through this week’s little string of parables, (Matt 13:44-52) Jesus is not only telling us about the incomparable value of The Reign, or the Kingdom of God, but just possibly, might also be offering us an image of God.
Could God be like the treasure hunter, Who finds in each of us, something so precious, that He pays the ultimate price…His only Son, so that He might possess us exclusively? Could there be a pearl hidden within each of us, so alluring that even God can’t resist? Does God caste a net of love and mercy over our lives, and having captured the whole of us, sort through and discard what is waste, but savor what is good and wholesome? I wonder!
I also wonder, why…if God sees so much value in each of us…we don’t see it in ourselves…or in one another?
It’s an ordinary thing to wonder…it’s extraordinary however to search for the answer! Why not do some treasure hunting this week! Don’t be ordinary during Ordinary Time…search for buried treasure…because…without using a parable…Jesus tells us: “seek and you will find!”