STEWARDS OF THE KINGDOM
17th Week in Ordinary Time
No RCIA Session this Week, August 3
1 Kings 3:5, 7-12
"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field....Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls...Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. ...Do you understand all these things?"
"Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old." cf. Matthew 13:44-52
SCHEDULE: Reception of Sacraments on August 5 & 13
- Please pray for Rodolfo and Aydee Anota who will celebrate the sacraments on August 5. Please pray also for Fausto, Eva, Awilda, Ana, Cecilia, Eloy, Augustine, and Maite, who will be Baptized, Confirmed and/or celebrate Eucharist with us for the first time on August 13! We pray that God will keep them close and show them always the path of life.
- For those to be baptized and confirmed on August 13, there will be a practice on August 7 at about 6:00 pm in the Church.
PRACTICE THE FAITH: Practice Prayer
- Read Chapter 4 of the USCCA
- Find a place in your home where you can pray every day, twice a day
- Every day, twice a day, go to that place and try to open your heart to God. Learn to look back over your day for signs of God at work in your life, and give God thanks before going to bed. No matter how boring, especially when it is boring, go to your prayer place and remember all that God has done for us. Ask the Holy Spirit to pray with you, to guide you, to help you hear what God is speaking to your heart. Share your heart also with God; be happy to make reckless promises to the One who is Love itself - even when you are not sure you hear His voice, feel His presence, or understand His way.
REFLECTION: Where Our Treasure Lies...the Kingdom of Heaven
The kingdom of heaven is like...
What "treasure" would be so great that if you happened upon it -- maybe while digging at a construction site or scuba diving in the ocean or even while shopping in a store -- what "treasure" would be so important to you that you would sell everything you have, even give up your home, give up your family, give up your good name and reputation, just to have that treasure?
We would think two, three, four...maybe a hundred times before giving up home, all our possessions, our family, our good name, or our success just to possess one thing. What could be so valuable? What could have such a lasting value that we would be okay without all those other things? It would be almost like giving our own life for this thing...
The kingdom of heaven does not have a Catechism chapter, but it is what Jesus came to announce, to begin.
So what is the kingdom of God? Where is the kingdom of God?
We live in the Kingdom of God when we live in Jesus. Not so different from Eucharist, our lives may not change at all in appearance, but when we live in Jesus and He in us, everything is different. Pope Benedict XVI* taught eloquently that Jesus came not only to announce and to begin the Reign of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, but that Jesus Christ Himself IS the Kingdom. We possess the Kingdom when we allow Jesus to live in us, and we live in Him.
What can we do to live in Jesus? What would we give that He would live in us? AND, once we have given all and live in the Kingdom, how do we become the like the good scribe - the one who understands and who is able to pull from the storeroom both the old and the new -- giving good things to every person we encounter?
We are called to live in the Kingdom. Today, Paul in his letter to the Romans promises that "all things will work for good for those who love God." If we wish to live in the Kingdom, God will grant that - just as he granted Solomon wisdom. We have only to give ourselves to God, and God will do the rest. But do we really want that? We know we are living in the Kingdom when we realize we are little more than a beggar, and we begin to feel that desire to share the Good News with every other poor beggar on earth!
*In his book, Jesus of Nazareth