“To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God?”
Today’s Gospel passage presents two brief parables in which Jesus specifically focuses our attention on “the Kingdom of God”. It might seem a simple question, but what exactly is this Kingdom?
Is the Church the Kingdom of God? If so, and if the mission of the Church is to proclaim the Kingdom of God, then the mission of the Church would seem to consist in nothing other than the Church proclaiming itself.
Certainly there is an intimate relationship between the Church and the Kingdom of God. In fact, it is a relationship of service, articulated by the Second Vatican Council in this manner: “While helping the world and receiving many benefits from it, the church has a single intention: That God’s Kingdom may come, and that salvation of the whole human race may come to pass.”
The sacrifice that Christ makes of His Body for the sake of the Church is the paradigm for understanding the sacrifice that the Church makes for the sake of the Kingdom. This mission of the Church is inherently future-oriented, calling forth from Christians the virtue of hope, as they look forward to the Church’s fulfillment through the Lord’s Second Coming.