The Kingdom of God was the number one topic of Jesus’ teaching. The subject of Jesus’ first sermon when He came into Galilee was the “Kingdom of God”: the “Kingdom has come,” He said. From that time on, almost every parable of Jesus begins, “The Kingdom of God is like …” But many of us know very little about it, or we misunderstand it. We’re like the little boy in religion class who was asked, “What did Jesus say about people getting married?”
He answered immediately, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” If someone should ask you, “What did Jesus say about the Kingdom of God?” your answer might well be as unenlightened as that little boy’s. Jesus told us that the Kingdom of God is the most important thing in life. He told us to seek it first, before all things. He told us it’s the one thing needful. He told us it’s like a treasure hidden in the field that is so valuable if you ran across it you would sell everything you owned in order to possess it. He told us that it is the pearl of great price!
But that leaves us with a real problem. I want to ask you honestly now, in the average week how many times do you think about the Kingdom of God? How many times does it enter your conversation? How many times does it become a part of your decision-making? For most of us who claim to be His people, the Kingdom of God, which meant everything to Jesus, is not an important part of our lives at all. It doesn’t tie into the way we’re feeling, loving, laughing, and crying.
Here is a simple story that would illustrate how that kingdom of God be manifested in our world.
A bus was bumping along a back road. In one seat, an old man sat holding a bunch of fresh flowers. Across the aisle was a young girl whose eyes came back again-and-again to the beautiful bouquet. The time came for the old man to get off the bus. Impulsively, he thrust the flowers into the girl’s lap.
“I can see you love the flowers,” he explained, “and I think my wife would like for you to have them. I’ll tell her I gave them to you.”
The girl accepted the flowers, then watched the old man get off the bus and walk through the gate of a small cemetery. And for that young girl, it was a moment to remember — a moment in which she knew, in her soul, what God feels like. And she rejoiced in the experience of the Kingdom of God within her!
We are born for the Kingdom of God. We are living for the Kingdom of God. But like that kindly old man, what are we giving to the Kingdom of God?
As a community of Christians it’s time for us to get off the bus and share the transforming experience of the Kingdom of God that lives within!
PEACE AND BLESSINGS!
There is no music director’s report this week as our music director is away attending her daughter’s graduation. We wish congratulations to Terese.
St. Elizabeth’s Guild Rummage Sale Report:
St. Elizabeth’s Guild enjoyed a very successful Spring Rummage Sale last week end. Conspicuously absent was our beloved Ila Donovan, whom we are burying this week end. For years Ila organized clothes and shoes at the sale. She took pride in knowing the needs, sizes and style of her customers, most of them elderly poor, whom she served with kindness and dedication. She organized individual collections of clothes in the correct size, season and style, outerwear, shoes, jammies, underwear, soaps and tooth brushes. They walked out with a year’s worth of clothes usually for less than $5.00. Ila was a kind and practical soul; as a teacher and volunteer, she had a special place in her heart for underprivileged people. Janis Brown took over the dept. after Ila’s accident, and this year Janis was unable to participate due to knee surgery. We pray for her recovery. This sale was especially poignant, with things from Ila’s estate, and there were many teary moments as we explained to our visitors that Ila had departed this world. We’re all certain Ila got a pass directly to heaven of course, but still miss her painfully.
It’s been a hard spring for our parish, losing Frank Danzart II, Jeannie Torr, Ila and just this week Peg Canelis. It’s so hard for their families —please be sure to give a smile and an encouraging word to them. These individuals and their families have woven memories of such grace into our hearts, and we pray thankfully for them.
They pass the torch and leave works to be continued. We pray you will find it in your hearts to step up and continue the works of mercy required by our Catholic faith. Like the girl on the bus in Fr. Luis’s story, may you experience the Kingdom of God in your soul.