The Kingdom of God is like… (Mk 4:26)
The Reign of God Is Like…
In the gospel of this Sunday, Jesus speaks of one of his favorite themes. He compares the “reign of God” to some of the ordinary scenes with which his audience was very familiar in first-century Palestine. Mark makes the following editorial comment on Jesus’ method of teaching: “By means of many such parables he taught them the message in a way they could understand” (Mark 4:33). I would like to suggest a way that we might understand the reign of God better today-through some modern parables.
“The reign of God is like unto a man caught in the wrong lane in a traffic jam. He sat and sat and sat, and both he and his car began to overheat. Lo, a smiling face in a car in the main stream of traffic nodded unto him and allowed him to get into that lane. And the last state of that man was far better than the first.”
“The reign of God is like unto a neighborhood in suburban Pittsburgh wherein only white people dwelt. Behold, a black family came to look at a house for sale on an ordinary street therein. Many scowled and seethed within themselves. But from the adjoining home came a lovely young woman and her three bright children and spoke a few kind words to the family. And all those who lifted up stones in their hearts ready to cast them became suddenly ashamed, and they turned within themselves, and the stones began to fall from their hearts.”
“The reign of God is like unto a woman at a social event who was graciously invited, but knew no one else there. She stood clumsily by the punch bowl, staring around nervously, but there was no one to talk to her. Suddenly there appeared a stranger who saw her plight, approached her, and said with a kind but not patronizing voice, ‘Come join us, friend, there is room at our table.’ And she was exceedingly glad.”
The seeds of the reign of God are here. Have you experienced them recently? Or, better yet, have you planted them recently?
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials, and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee.
I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my justification before God Thy Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited. I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite Goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee.
I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Thy Heart, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants.
Fr. Franco Pereira, S.D.B.