Bài chia sẻ cuối tuần này, CN 17 thường niên Năm A, ngày 27/07/2014.
Cám ơn Thầy Giuse Phạm Thể đã chia sẻ với anh em.
Ban TT Liên Lạc
What Do We Need to Do to Inherit the Heavenly Kingdom? –
If you were given an offer of selling all of your possession in exchange for a property that was worth billions of dollar, which includes everything that you could imagine, would you take it? I would venture to say that about 90% of us would be very happy to do so without a second thought.
That is the Kingdom of Heaven. It is like a treasure and the precious pearl that Jesus is speaking of in the first two parables today. They both have the greatest value in existence. Both men went off happily and eagerly to sell everything they owned so they could buy either the field or the pearl. There is something about the Kingdom of Heaven, which is highly attractive that could change their lives. Both the treasure and the pearl must have such an extraordinary value and must be incomparable to all the riches and power of this world combined for such a change to take place in their hearts.
What is it about the Kingdom of Heaven? It is about Jesus the Son of the living God who is the Creator of the Universe. Jesus has full power over Heaven and Earth. If we knew Jesus, we would have everything we need for He is the source of all things. When we really discover Jesus and the glory that awaits us in the eternal kingdom, everything else becomes secondary. Once we find the Kingdom that can fulfill our lives with the true meaning that we have always longed for, we need nothing else. We are filled with an indescribable joy. This was Paul’s experience as he tells the Philippian community that: “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ.”
So, how can we inherit this Heavenly Kingdom? Today’s gospel tells us to sell all of our possession in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Actually, we may possess the goods of this world, but only such goods as we lawfully and justly acquire; and that we are willing to share what God has given us with those who are in need. Yes, it is true we need to sell all of the things that hinder us from following Jesus, all the things that we are addicted to in life. Our love for the things of this world must not be more than our love for Jesus and our brothers and sisters. We need to live a moderate life, but it is not so much about the material things, it is more about how we treat one another. Let us focus on this for a moment. In order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, we need to let go of our jealousy, anger and hatred that we hold in our hearts; let go of our revenge toward one another then learn to forgive; and let go of all the things in our possession that hinder our sincere love for each other. One of the well-known teachings of St. Paul is, “No matter what we do, if we do not do it out of love for another, it does no good.”
The kingdom of heaven is also like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind. The good fish are put into baskets but the bad are thrown out. So it will be at the end of time. The angels will come and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be only weeping and suffering. There will be no second chance. There will be no coming back on earth again to correct the wrongs that we may have done. Therefore, our thoughts, our words, and our actions in this life, determine if we will be among the good fish or the bad ones.
Today Jesus reveals to us the true value of the Kingdom of Heaven which is worth much more than all that we have seen on earth. It includes many more beautiful and valuable things than our eyes and ears have ever seen or heard. We are also told how to live our lives in order to inherit that Kingdom: that is to follow Jesus. We must never lose sight of our goal of the eternal life. The Kingdom is open to all who truly know Jesus and that Jesus could recognize them as his disciples at the gate of heaven.
In the first reading today, we learned about King Solomon who did not ask God for a long life, riches nor the life of his enemies. Instead he asked for the gift of understanding and knowing what is right. God was pleased and granted Solomon what he had asked for as well as a wisdom that no one has ever had or will have. Before the table of the Eucharist today, may God give us the wisdom to use our gifts of time and talents in serving one another. May the wisdom help us to know the right from wrong, to always focus our hearts on Jesus, not on the perishable things of this life; so that when the time is come and the heavenly net is pulled in, we may all be among the chosen ones to enjoy the lasting glory of the eternal Kingdom.
Pt. Pham Theman The