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Audio Available!
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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Homily - The Kingdom is Worth it!

The Kingdom of Heaven is worth any cost.  It's worth it.  With these last parables, we reach the end of our three-week review of Matthew's teaching section from Chapter 13.  We hear about the Kingdom of Heaven, something we should always keep our eyes fixed on as we continue to wait expectantly.  The Kingdom of Heaven begins in Christ Jesus, whose first words in the New Testament are: "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.  Repent and Believe in the Gospel!"  The last parable, in the common Jewish parallel structure, resembles the about the weeds and the wheat that are not to be separated until the end.  We ourselves must be patient until that Kingdom is fully revealed, but until then we can and must live within the Kingdom through our relationship to Christ.
For you see, that is part of the great Good News: we don't have to wait.  In Christ, the Kingdom is breaking through.  If you live within the life of the Church and in a deep personal relationship to Jesus, you are already part of the Kingdom of Heaven.  And you will never realize what you are missing until you start to really follow Him as a disciple, really pray to Him as your friend, and really love Him your Savior.

But the trick to getting to that point of deep and lasting happiness is making a sacrificial choice.  The choice to be a true disciple of Jesus and begin living within the Kingdom of God by that relationship - that choice means we have to both give some things up, as well as pursue something else.

But The Kingdom of Heaven is worth any cost.  It's worth it.  I just got back yesterday from two beautiful days in Nashville, TN.  The beauty, my friends, was not in the architecture, or the oppressive humidity or 91-degree temperatures, nor in the great music (though there was all of those things!).  The beauty for me was in watching the mystery of the Cross unfold in the life of the Church.  I went down for two occassions that coincided: a final profession of five sisters in the Dominican Sisters of St. Caecilia, and an ordination of nine, that's right, nine, men to the diocesan priesthood.  I knew 4 of them from seminary and 1 of the sisters from college.

What have I turned away from for the sake of the kingdom?
Throw away CDs or DVDs. Left friends or potential friends.  Lost popularity.  quit wasting huge chunks of time on video games. Given away inheritance etc. (Katherine Drexel and Francis)

What have I gone after for the sake of the kingdom?  
Went on retreats. Went to Byron Health center. Got up to pray a rosary on Thursdays. Morning Mass.

Do I truly value it? Like the pearl and the treasure?

This is true wisdom: to see the big picture and how day-to-day fits into it. To know what's worth your time and what's not. To know what to spend yourself for, to never quit on, to fight for. To drop what is a waste of your finite resources of time, energy, and love.

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