Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Romans 8:18-25 + Luke 13:18-21
October 26, 2021
“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 this Kingdom meant to be the Church’s life on earth? Is this Kingdom in fact Heaven, which is to say, being in the presence of God? In the latter case, the Church on earth only foreshadows the full glory of the Kingdom of God.
The Second Vatican Council spoke directly about the connection between the Church and the Kingdom of God. The Council explained that this connection is a relationship of service, stating: “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.” What this quote does not explain is whether one ought to hope for the coming of this Kingdom on earth, or whether it’s only possible for this Kingdom to be realized on the other side of death’s door.
In any case, the sacrifice that Christ makes of His Body for the sake of the Church is a paradigm. It is a 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 final fulfillment at the Lord’s Second Coming.