We’ve had these parables about the Kingdom of Heaven a bunch lately. At Sunday Mass over the past few weeks, and we’re now working through them at daily Mass. One thing we can say about them is that they are head-scratchers for sure! I am sure we can all understand how the people were confused by Jesus’ description of the Kingdom, since it even seems foreign to our ears, even though we’ve heard them so often. One might wish that he would just say: “Okay, look, here’s what the Kingdom is like,” and stop with all the parables already!
But as often as I read and reflect on these parables, it strikes me that no words would be adequate to express how wonderful is the kingdom. It’s big, like a mustard tree, and expansive, like rapidly-rising dough. But whatever we can say about the Kingdom of God, it’s going to be too little. Our language fails us. It will never even come close to describing the Kingdom in its fullness.
My guess is, no matter how often we hear these wonderful parables, on that great day when we – please God! – get to the Kingdom of heaven, we will be amazed beyond our wildest dreams. God’s heavenly Kingdom is something we certainly don’t want to miss. So let’s not be like those Israelites in the first reading who Jeremiah rightly pointed out never listened to God, or who as the Psalmist points out have even forgotten God.
Because if we remember our God, and listen closely, maybe we’ll hear just a tiny clue of what heaven will be like. That way we’ll recognize it when we get there.