FRIDAY: 1am to 2am (permanent)
SATURDAY: 5am to 6am - 19th & 26th June & 3rd July (temporary)
by Fr Doug Harris 2021
Both parables today are used by Jesus to explain what the Kingdom of God is. In the first parable, seed grows while the farmer sleeps (as Jesus said: “on its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain on the ear.”)
In the second parable the Kingdom of God is compared to the smallest seed in creation – a mustard seed: “yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all.”
The meaning is that the sower who planted the seed is a person who said “yes” to God’s Will and “no” to his/her own will. Once we have said “yes,” once our intention is to do God’s Will and not our own, then the seed, or the Kingdom of God begins to grow within us and therefore, the Kingdom of God is established on earth – even while we are asleep or preoccupied with the demands of the world.
What is the Kingdom of God? It is heaven. Adam and Eve, before the Fall, lived in the Kingdom of God – heaven and earth were one – God’s Kingdom and the earth’s kingdom were the same. But, due to the Original sin of Adam and Eve sin entered into creation and because sin cannot exist in God’s Kingdom, God’s Kingdom had to separate from the earth. Therefore, all creation on earth has been pining or groaning for the return of God’s Kingdom.
In Romans 8:19, 21, 22 “Creation waits with eager longing…because creation will be set free from its bondage of decay and obtain glorious liberty. We know that the whole of creation has been groaning in labour pains until now …groaning for our bodies to be set free.”
The prayer the ‘Our Father’ expresses the heart of Our Lord who prayed to His Father “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” That should be our prayer: “May Your Kingdom Come!”
Our Lord became flesh in order to restore His Kingdom on the earth. However, Jesus has told us that His Kingdom will not come in an instant but will come gradually like the smallest seed. The mustard seed – which becomes the largest shrub of them all.
However, Our Lord told us that the Kingdom of God is already on the earth. Hence, we read in Luke 17:20: “The Kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed nor will they say, ‘Behold it is here’ or ‘Behold it is there,’ because the Kingdom is among us. Jesus also said: “The Kingdom is among us.” It was present on the earth when Jesus was on the earth because wherever Jesus is, the Kingdom of God is.
When we humans respond to the Grace of God’s Kingdom, by doing God’s Will and not our own will, then God’s Kingdom will be experienced by all creation on earth.
Today Jesus is physically present in the Eucharist. Whenever Jesus is present, God’s Kingdom is present. Therefore, when we are in the presence of the Eucharist we are in the Kingdom of God. In other words when we are in heaven. In the presence of the Eucharist, we are in the presence of God, as much as the saints in heaven are. The Catholic Catechism of the Church, article 1024 states that in heaven, the saints are in “a communion of life and love with the Trinity.” Also, article 1025 states, “to live in heaven is to live in Christ.”
Luisa Piccaretta who died in Italy in 1947 lived on Holy Communion alone for the last 64 years of her life. Our Blessed Mother appeared to her, and Our Mother explained how her life on earth was also akin to living in heaven. Our Blessed Mother described her life on earth in these words: “I had my heaven (God’s Kingdom) within me … I was inseparable from my Creator… The Kingdom being in me, I left the rights of daughter, of being with the Divine Persons, of participating in all the joys and happiness and sanctity which They possess … filling me so much as not to be able to contain more… one was the Will that animated us, and whatever They wanted I wanted…The Kingdom extended in all my acts…all my acts were animated by the Divine Persons.”
Bl. Dina Belanger, a French-Canadian nun who died in 1929 was given the Grace to live in heaven while still living on the earth. She wrote: “My eternity has begun… I live in the Heart of God. I am completely hidden… is this not the life of the elect in paradise? …is this not what the heavenly Hosts are engaged in? …living in the Heart of my Jesus… as in a furnace of divine fire!
Our Lord wants us to enjoy all of His life and love. Therefore, His plan is to live in us and for us to live in Him. This is the existence of the saints in heaven. This is the existence that God wants for all of us now - while still alive on earth. In this existence we enjoy all of God’s life and love which is always more.