The Bible in Dialogue with Questions of the Day; Have full confidence. The kingdom of God is coming, even if slowly. One must live with the mystery of God. (619)
Many today within the Church are impatient with the slow pace of change. They want things to happen faster, and according to their wishes.
Today’s readings may have a few lessons to teach in this regard. One is that, at best, we are only co-operators with God. God is at work silently; the seed sown by faith can be working away quietly.
Another message that may be of help is that which was central to Paul, so keen on his apostolate to win the world for Christ. The message in question is, that in whatever situation we find ourselves, what is important is that “we please to Lord”, working within the Church and with the Church.
A further message is that we should always be full of confidence, confidence which has the gift of the Holy Spirit within each believer and within the Church as its foundation and its guarantee.
A final message, but far from the least, is recognition of the centrality of the word of God to Christian faith and practice. We often refer to Scripture as the word of God, and people call for more access to this word of God. But, to recall Paul’s words to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 2:13), the word of God is God’s message received in faith and working through grace within each individual believer and in the Church.
All this calls for an atmosphere or prayer and devotion, one in which we can work for true Christian living.
May your kingdom come. May your will be done on earth. Working for the coming of the kingdom. What has been presented in the various parables of the kingdom in the Gospel accounts give only individual aspects of the kingdom, and the presentation of the growth of the kingdom is as a seed growing of itself in the parables of today’s gospel reading is no exception. These parables do not imply that human activity is not required for the coming and the growth of the kingdom. We pray daily to God that his kingdom may come, which for Christian belief as for Judaism implies that his will be done here on earth. Jesus laboured for the coming of the kingdom through his teaching and his miracles, as in other ways. So did the apostle Paul. Necessity was laid on him to preach the Gospel, and the same held true for the Church down through the centuries. The Church herself, and all believers, must do likewise in any age, including our own. The Church authorities must be in contact with the faithful, prepared to answer their questions and to be aware of their anxieties concerning religious matters whether of faith or morals, including points of moral practice. They must make it clear that the concerns of the faithful are being listened to, even when these disagree with Church teaching or her position on certain matters. But at the same time the Church must proclaim the Gospel message in it saving entirety, and enter into the necessary dialogue with a secular society possibly in disagreement with it on certain matters, such as those relating to sexual issues, to marriage and others besides. In issues such as these lay voices can carry greater conviction than those of clerics, although not too many of the laity may be keen on taking on such a task.
But such is the mystery of the kingdom of God, from its beginning to our own day, a seed growing of its own, but still calling for proclamation, promotion and defence.