The Kingdom of God is Like

“Like” appears often in today’s Advent readings at Mass. it’s a word that appears often in religious matters. Isaiah, the master poet, cannot speak without using the word. If you listen to God, our Teacher,

 “ your prosperity would be like a river,
    and your vindication like the waves of the sea;
Your descendants would be like the sand,
    and those born of your stock like its grains.”

Prophets like Isaiah cannot speak of the mystery of God and his promises without saying what it may be like. 

Psalm 1, the responsorial psalm, uses the same language:  
The one who follows you, Lord, will have the light of life.
and be like a tree planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers. 

This generation, Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew, is ‘ like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’ They’re competing with one another, shouting at each other, scarcely seeing Jesus and John and the message they stand for.  

“Like” is a word that approximates some reality. It’s the closest we can get to some truth.

We placed poinsettias and wreathes in our chapel yesterday and a vase of roses where the figures of the Child, Mary and Joseph will go. We search for words and ways to understand the mystery we celebrate, but in the end they are all “like”. That’s what we have till we see.   

3 thoughts on “The Kingdom of God is Like

  1. johnD

    Fr Victor, thanks for sharing the beauty of ADVENT, the time of waiting… to see what our faith has taught us. Thanks for sharing the beauty of contemplating our Savior’s arrival and His return, the beauty of this crucifix, of Christmas flowers, of Faith, Hope, Joy & Love. May the dear Heavenly Father, Son & Holy Spirit continue blessing you, your fellow priests and brothers, and all the staff & caregivers in this festive time of looking to the Light!

    Like

  2. cenaclemary12

    I like using metaphors to help me understand who God is. I think it’s good to think of God’s grace flowing like a river; being planted by a stream. Our puny minds do need assistance when we try to imagine the Divine.
    Not that we can ever limit the Godness of God. St. Augustine was walking along the beach one day, taking a break from writing his treatise on the Trinity. The great scholar just couldn’t get his mind around this great mystery. He saw a little boy digging a hole in the sand, and then running to the ocean, filling up his hands with the seawater, running back to the hole and emptying the water into the hole. Augustine watched as the child went back and forth several times. Finally he said to the boy, “What are you doing?” The boy said, “Trying to fill that hole with the ocean.” And Augustine said, “You’ll never fit the ocean in that hole.” And the boy said, “Neither will you be able to fit the Trinity into your mind.”

    Like

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