St Francis Q&A

Friday, December 28, 2007

"The kingdom of God is like..."

Dec 21 talk– 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 prog. 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


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