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For a full copy of the Newsletter please click on link;  Ordinary Time 17th Sunday 300717

 

“The richness of God’s Kingdom…”

In today’s Gospel reading, we are dealing with something costly and precious and of lasting value. What is this greatest treasure? According to Jesus Christ, it is related to the Kingdom of God – the kingdom we pray for every day in the “Our Father” prayer. This is God’s saving presence among his people, which is here, yet still to come, the supreme and life-giving joy of knowing Jesus and the One who sent him.

As Christians, we are made to know God and to love him, to serve him now, and to be happy with him forever. This is the consistent revelation attested by the Church, in both Old and New Testaments. God calls us to be members of his Kingdom, a Kingdom hidden but infinitely precious, a Kingdom worth renouncing the world for.

Again and again, we think of this Kingdom as a general concept, we recall how through the ages people have been touched and changed by the thought of this Kingdom, and has become agents of God’s love, and has helped to transform our society. Today, we are challenged to think especially of how this Kingdom affects us individually and personally.

The beautiful story of King Solomon’s youthful life, and his call to assume high office, could be a good starting point and a wonderful model for us all. Solomon chose to ask the Lord for wisdom rather than earthly riches: “Give your servant a heart to understand how to discern between good and evil.” (1 Kings 3:9) This could be the prayer of all of us confronted by life, its temptations and its daily challenges. And this wisdom, so treasured by the scriptures, comes only through the power and strength of the Holy Spirit.

Also, this wisdom is achieved by discerning the help and perfection of God’s law; a law bound up with justice, mercy and love. Awareness of this helps us to see and discern properly, how we should live in every sphere of our lives. Again, the love which comes from God’s Spirit of Wisdom operates on the lives of each of us through providence and glorious destiny we are called to in Jesus.

St. Paul tells us that “God cooperates with those who love him, with those he has called according to his purpose.” (Rm. 8:28-29) This is to say that we will become “true images of his Son” – Jesus, the perfect human being. He has called us, and in calling us has justified us, and in justifying us has made us heirs of his glory. The kingdom makes us part of this process already, and the supreme joy of the hope held out to us in Jesus Christ is our greatest treasure in life.

Fr Odinaka

 

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