Greetings my friends and thank you for reading this reflection of the Sunday lectionary reading for this day. The Gospel for today in the last part of Matthew 13 has several day to day working and known themes: agriculture, cooking, mining, commerce and fishing. It is a rather long reading and a parable for each theme, and because of time, I will concentrate on verses 51a nd 52 when Jesus speaks to his disciples wrapping up all these comparisons to the Kingdom of Heaven. Let’s get to it!
The Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew the 13th chapter (13:51-52)
Glory to you, oh Lord!
“Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
The Gospel of our Lord.
Praise to you, oh Christ!
Grace and peace are yours from God our Father and from his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord! Amen.
When I travel and my wife Aura has not been with me in the trip, I try to share with her as much as I can about my experience through pictures, little videos and narrative comparisons. I might try to explain it by remembering other places we have been before or circumstances we’ve lived, by saying, “it was like… such and such place…but bigger, or he was like so and so but younger” and so on.
Well, the master storyteller, Jesus, did that but way, way better. The message he was conveying was about the most important thing he wanted his disciples to remember and understand forever. That message was constant: The Kingdom of Heaven. He shared examples of exponential growth, and of the high value it has. For Jesus, it is the most important thing of all on this earth. His explanation of the Kingdom made with daily activities was meant for us to go deeper. This Kingdom of Heaven is active in our external world but also in our internal beings.
Therefore, some references to fire destined for evil are more like a purifying fire rather than a punishing fire. But for me during our “stay safe in home” days, the illustration of the scribe trained FOR the kingdom of heaven made sense. First because the master of the household or the kingdom, is no other than God who brings out of God’s own treasure, and what is given the most value, is what’s new and old.
Many are bringing their experiences, talents, and wisdom of old into this new way of communicating. This new virtual reality has awakened in many a whole new world and now they see the great value it has. And those younger, who were already walking in cyber space for a while, are seeing the value of those who have lived longer. We now have so much wisdom and knowledge to share, with the new knowledge and speed of these cyber roads.
Think about it: just a few years ago, we would not consider buying daily needs online. Now it will be hard to go back completely to how we were. On Sundays, we enjoyed the company of other believers in worship and heard one sermon, now we can listen to our pastors and as many others as we want. In our seclusion, we are considering things we have and own in our homes, giving value to some and questioning why we still have others. Some are old things of great value and others are new and also valuable.
Here is the good news: at the end of the day, God is the master of the household, and we are the old and the new, all having a place of value in the kingdom. So, whether we are being used in the kingdom to bring fire to purify the consequences of sin, challenging the powers of systemic injustice, or if we are lifting up the importance of respect and unity, living by grace alone, we are all part of God’s Heavenly Kingdom here and now. We are God’s treasure, blessed to be a blessing. Amen.
Let us pray,
Good and loving God, you teach us in love what we need to value. Help us to identify what is most important in our lives, like Jesus who gave such importance to the Kingdom of Heaven for our world and for our time. May we value Jesus’ love for us so we may live in gratitude, and his love may be reflected in all we say and do. We confess to you those things that need to be burned, and those things that we neglect doing for you. Thank you for forgiving us and helping us to walk in your kingdom of love. We pray in the most holy name of Jesus, the Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God now and forever. Amen.
The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord’s face shine on you with grace and mercy. The Lord look upon you with favor, and give you peace. Amen.