Here is my homily from this morning’s Mass. God bless each of you.
Our Lord presents to us many different images of the “Kingdom of God” in the gospels, especially the Gospel of Matthew. You know the images. The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, yet when planted grows into a large tree in which birds of the air find a home. The Kingdom of God is like a field in which is buried a great treasure which a man sells everything he has to go and buy that field. The Kingdom of God is like a pearl of great price. The Kingdom of God is like a net thrown into the sea which collects both the good and the bad, the old and the new. In today’s gospel, we hear that the Kingdom of God is like a great wedding feast to which many are invited but few are chosen.
Why does our Lord use so many images to convey to us the Kingdom of God? Perhaps it is because with each image we are given an idea of the various ways we must prepare ourselves if we are to enter that Kingdom.
If the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, then we must have faith. If the Kingdom of God is like a treasure buried in a field or a pearl of great price, then we must be willing to give our all, to fully commit ourselves to the Lord if we are to enter into his Kingdom. If the Kingdom of God is like a net thrown into the sea, then we must have courage to encounter the world, like our Holy Father is reminding us so often in the past year. Finally, in today’s first reading from Ezechiel, in our responsorial psalm, and in our Gospel reading, we learn that we must be pure to enter God’s Kingdom. Our Lord said on the Sermon on the Mount that “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.”
Yes, to enter into the Kingdom requires that we be pure, that we be cleansed of all that separates us from God. Before we can approach that Kingdom this morning here at this altar, we must be cleansed from our impurities and with a clear conscience come forward. Ezechiel said that God would put within us natural, cleansed hearts, that He would wash us from all our idols, all our impurities. The Gospel spoke of the wedding feast and the patron of that feast inviting many, but only a few showed up, and one of them was improperly prepared, impure.
My friends, let us approach this altar this early morning with a clear conscience, with a pure heart, a heart that has been cleansed, so that we may, in faith, see clearly the God whom we love.