17th Sunday in Ordinary Time. 26 July 2020

More parables this weekend! These are about the future, more precisely, a concept dear to the heart of Jesus… the Kingdom.

In my early youth, we were often taunted with the words, “there will be pie in the sky when you die”. I did not understand what the taunts were about. Later the realisation that we Catholics were often talking about heaven, and its rewards and its blessings, that perhaps many thought we were so indifferent to the current needs of the world. “Put up with it now…for your reward will be great in heaven”.

Much of that has passed, some still remains. 

Some suggest that in a world of scarcity inhabited by most of his disciples and their families and their fellow citizens, that Jesus set out quite deliberately to proclaim a world of abundance that foreshadowed the Kingdom. He was sent by an abundant Father. Jesus gave abundant wine at Cana, loaves upon loaves at the feeding of the five thousand and so on. Be of the abundant school, he seemed to say.

Recent events in our local Australian world highlight the world of fear of scarcity. The stories of pasta, flour and toilet rolls being hoarded during the first wave of fear of the unseen virus and repeated to a lesser degree in the current second wave, all confirms the observation that hoarding produces enemies!

You know the mantra “you have more than me”. It is no good replying that “I need it for an emergency…”. The quick reply will be of the order, “but I am in need, I want it…now!” 

I think we need a big dose of Solomon’s request made in reading one today, “Give your servant a heart to understand how to discern between good and evil”.

It is a good time to be reminded about, in a sense, the illogical world of the Kingdom. Our logical world, trying to balance supply and demand and forgetting the poor and homeless, is not performing much better than the world of Herod, Pilate, John the Baptist and Jesus. 

  Perhaps we ought to take a deeper look at the Kingdom of heaven.

Mons Frank