Saints for the day: Daria & companions (3rd Century)
Ephesians 5:21-33 – Psalms 128 – Luke 13:18-21
“Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face.” (Today’s ‘Entrance Antiphon’ Ps 105 )
These words above, from today’s Entrance Antiphon might help us understand today’s Holy Gospel where Jesus gives two examples of what the Kingdom of God is like. However, most of us in our sophisticated lifestyle don’t have much connection to either mustard seeds or yeast so we are left just a little out in left field. And whenever this happens we usually just move on with maybe a little “ho hum” along the way to something that more easily catches our fancy. The two examples that Jesus used in this Gospel passage are somewhat passive in the sense that you get a little tiny mustard seed which you plant and – low and be told it grows into a very large bush where the birds of the air come to find shelter. The example of the yeast is a little more direct in that we get the idea heaven comes about by pounding us from the outside until something wonderful changes us into a kind of new creation. The problem, of course, is that we simply don’t have words or the ability to describe what the Kingdom of God is like in any language of this world. As little children most of us thought of Heaven as some kind of eternal playground where there was endless attractions to keep us happy as clams forever and ever. But is that enough to satisfy our curiosity? Perhaps the example that I’ve come up with on my own might give you something more to hold on to. I’ve used it before in these reflections but it’s good enough for a second encore.
I give it the title, “Life in the womb is to life in the world as life in the world is to life in heaven.” Suppose that you could slip into the womb of an almost full term pregnant woman and tell the developing fetus this startling news: “Hey, kid. Pretty soon you’re going to be free from this very confining ‘water world’ and you’re going to begin to walk around on your own; go wherever you want. You’ll be able to eat real food. You’ll be able to feel the wind at your back and the sun on your face.”
The fetus would just look at you and say something like, “What in the world are talking about? I’m as content as a clam. As far as I know, everything you’re talking about is already happening to me and I don’t have to do anything to enjoy it. I’m fed continually; all my needs are being met; I’m taking everywhere I need to be; and I don’t have to do anything on my own. Why would I ever want anything more than this?
Our life in this world is only a kind of “staging world.” We’re just passing through on our way to something that is so radically different from what we experience that we have no words to express it. I hope that this example might be a way for you to grasp how absolutely different our lives will be in Heaven when we will be able to see God as He really is! Mind-boggling! Isn’t it? Amen!