Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

When Jesus speaks of the “Kingdom”, he never speaks directly about just what this “kingdom” is, but through comparisons: metaphors and similes. “The Kingdom of heaven is LIKE a woman who hides the leaven or a farmer who buries a mustard seed,” only to become a huge loaf of bread to feed dozens or a huge tree to shelter the birds. Beautiful!!

Religion in general, Catholicsm in particular, are best when the imagination is creative in expressing doctrines and teachings. Memorization has its place, for certain, but when religion becomes reduced to memorizing verses and catechisms, it loses its power to transform. Our catholic faith needs to be creative in every age and in every culture, surfacing images that speak to the people of the time and place.

Why not do just what Jesus did and create NEW metaphors of the Kingdom, allowing people in 21st century life to SEE the Kingdom coming alive in ways that make sense in this particular time. Seeds and yeast can still inspire the imagination, but not to as many people in our own day. Many, if not most of us, do not plant seeds or bake bread, especially in the city.

I am not able to have a garden because there isn’t anything but cement and asphalt that surround. Yes, I can use pots and planters.... but it just doesn’t have the same punch.

The Kingdom of heaven is like an architect...or a computer chip...or a smart tv... or a software system...or mail in votes....a recycling plant...the list goes on. All that is needed is that the imagination is not bound and tethered by images and traditions that no longer make sense.

Fr. Frank