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Passing on the goodness of God
In this extract of his homily, Fr Adrian Danker, SJ, invites us to ponder how we can better pass on the gifts the Lord has blessed us with, and to share His goodness with others.
In Matthew 13:44-52, we learn that the Kingdom of Heaven is like treasures hidden in a field, a pearl of great price, and a good catch from the sea.
When we reflect on the message in these parables, we are being offered something more than just an image of Heaven. Jesus focuses us on the motivation that we should have in desiring the Kingdom of Heaven. Behind their actions, the person who bought the field, the merchant and the fishermen, are all motivated by the knowledge that they have already come across these treasures and now seek to find them again.
Seeking true gifts
In the reading taken from 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12, we learn of how God asked what Solomon desired. When Solomon asked for wisdom, God gave him “a heart to discern between good and evil.” We need this same wisdom to recognise the Kingdom of Heaven already in our midst.
Similar to how God asked Solomon what he wanted, I imagine that in a real way in our prayer, God also asks us, “What is it you seek?” We sometimes pray to God for a change in other people, perhaps for an unfaithful spouse or the disobedient child. We may also ask God to remove the difficulties we face in our lives, like work burdens or examination stress. We might even simply ask God to let us live a better life than others.
However, let us take a moment to ponder if there are better gifts that we can ask God for. For example, we could ask God for the love of Jesus to respond to others, especially towards the needy. We could also ask Him for the strength to help us through the challenges we face daily. These are useful gifts through which God can transform our lives into that marvelous light of the Kingdom of Heaven. This light is shining for the many in darkness. This is how our Christian lives give meaning in the world.
Sharing these gifts
As Catholics, we are called to selflessly and generously share the gifts that the Lord has blessed us with. We should be sharing our gifts like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, who throws a celebration for his long-lost son despite him squandering his share of the inheritance, or like the shepherd who gathers everyone to rejoice with him upon finding his lost sheep. We should all be spreading the joy of finding the lost. It motivates us to pass on the goodness received.
Each of us has encountered Jesus in our lives, and we know how good He is for us; He loves and saves us. I invite you to make a constant effort to share this love of Jesus with our families, by making His closeness real and alive to them. Let us share His goodness with our friends and communities, by proclaiming the tenderness of His care, and emulating the mercy of Jesus who serves in the most self-giving way of washing the feet of others.
Experiencing God’s goodness
God’s goodness reveals the Kingdom of Heaven; we have all experienced it one way or another. God’s mercy is dispensed to forgive us for our sins. God offers comfort and hope when we suffer and despair. Most importantly, God gave His only Son for us when we did not expect second chances – God’s love is showered upon us even when we do not receive it.
Jesus tells us about the Kingdom of Heaven. He encourages us to want it. We have already experienced it on earth; it shall be more divine in heaven. If we want this, we must not only hear and understand the Good News. Jesus teaches us that we must strive for it. By sharing the goodness of the Kingdom of Heaven while on earth, we will attain it – for it is in giving that we receive.