Yesterday was the second session of the Lent Reflection Series I am offering at the University of St. Thomas School of Law on the theme Praying with Jesus’ Parables. Our focus this week was the parables Jesus uses to talk about the Kingdom of God in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel.
In my talk I shared some thoughts about each of the five short parables Jesus uses – in which he likens the Kingdom to a mustard seed…yeast…a treasure…a merchant…a net. Much of what I shared came out of my own extended meditations on the parables during my retreat this past summer.
I emphasized again yesterday something I said in our opening session last week. In proclaiming the Kingdom, Jesus was not simply giving a promise about the future, but was speaking about the here and now. Louis Savary reminds us in The New Spiritual Exercises that “in most Kingdom parables there is always some activity, human responsibility, choices made, or a change of heart, all of which suggest that the kingdom is something happening here on Earth, a diving project that is in process here and now, something ongoing, something big.”