For the good folks at St. Thomas More parish in Omaha, NE–hence the allusions to St. Thomas More…
Once, while I was working at a parish in El Salvador, I watched a youth minister assign an activity to her youth group to help them reflect on the Kingdom of God. She asked them to take newspapers and magazines and cut out all the “signs of the Kingdom” they could find. The young people enthusiastically started clipping articles about clean water initiatives, increases in the minimum wage, donations to the poor, and the like. All good things. And though I could see that the assignment was meant to foster hope of a better future, something about the assignment made me uneasy.
I felt that if the Kingdom could be spotted in news clippings, its growth would be “obvious” and measurable—even in this present life. Logically, of course, we should be able to detect the decay of the Kingdom by similar criteria—corporate greed, pollution, and secularism. But once we start thinking that way, of course, then the Kingdom becomes quite a frail thing—no longer the source of our strength, but now the object of our anxiety.
But Christ has come to “deliver us from every anxiety.” And perhaps for this reason He left us today’s three parables, each of which stresses the present hiddenness of the Kingdom. This point is easy to miss. Read the rest of this entry »