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Gospel Reflection for 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2011

posted Jul 13, 2011, 4:09 PM by Nick Ballesteros   [ updated Jul 13, 2011, 4:12 PM ]
Heaven Shapes our Life as Mission Made Alive

HEAVEN is common component of belief of world’s religions.  Often it is referred to as the sacred place proper only to deities and their courts.  Its existence is described to be far from and beyond the measurement of space and time, but normally thought to be up there the highest place possible.  It is the place of pure perfection in happiness
enough for believers to be motivated to sacrifice all others just to get entrance into it.

For us Catholics, Heaven is essentially a revelation of God Himself in Jesus Christ.  When Jesus was in the actual unfolding of who God is in the way He lived His life in Nazareth, in Galilee, in Jerusalem, in mountains, in the cities, whether with the crowd or with His own disciples, whether alone by Himself, heaven was also unfolding in Him.  Heaven is basically the Person of Jesus as the Son of God.

The parables in today’s Gospel which point to what the Kingdom of Heaven looks like can only speak of Jesus as God’s Kingdom present in us.  Heaven is Jesus who keeps going out of Himself to sow good seed in the world.  Being just a small portion of universal history, Jesus’ incarnation is the tiny mustard seed taken and sowed so
that heaven may yield its harvest on earth for the benefit of all.  The yeast taken and mixed is no other than Jesus who prefers to live and mingle quietly with people so that heaven might remain not up there but just here and within.

Reflecting on our missionary identity through the words and inspiration of New Zealand Mission Director, Fr Paul Shannahan, we realize how Jesus wishes to keep us in the Kingdom of Heaven by being sent by Him on a mission of sowing good seed together, on a mission of doing or just being little like a mustard seed but exalting others in grace, and on a mission of effecting God’s will like yeast with no desire of being seen and noticed.

May heaven shape our life as mission made alive. Amen.

Father Ambet