Possible Preaching Themes
Possible Scientific Resources

 The greatest gift: understanding and empathy (connected to 1 Kings)

  • The joy of finding unexpected treasure (related to 1 Kings and the Gospel)
  • Encountering the kingdom of heaven in ordinary life — discovering the extraordinary in the ordinary, often by accident (from the Gospel)

Homily Outline Combining Resources

Homily outline combining resources:  The Kingdom of God is a thing of astonishment and joy, waiting to be discovered — and closer than we may realize

  • Introduction: Pondering the kingdom of God
  • Jesus sets out to explain the Kingdom of God to his disciples in today’s gospel.
  • He offers an extended series of similes built around the idea of discovery:
    • the kingdom is like a treasure found in a field;
    • it is like a merchant who discovers a fine pearl;
    • it is like a net thrown into the sea that catches all kinds of fish.
  • The prevailing message is that the kingdom is something both commonplace and rare — familiar yet surprising, filling the heart with joy when it is encountered.
  • He elaborates further, explaining that “every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven” is like one who “brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”
  • Jesus is suggesting here that the kingdom is something both ancient and new — both expected and unexpected – to be discovered and redefined by the disciples who are hearing these words.
  • The scientific turn
  • One of the recurring themes in this gospel is the idea of discovery. The kingdom is found, perhaps, when least expected — and yields riches beyond imagining.
  • The scientific world is riddled with breakthroughs caused by happy accidents. Throughout history, some of the most important scientific discoveries have happened by accident or coincidence, such as
    •  penicillin
    • plastic
    • and the microwave.
  • Researchers have found that we are, by nature, people on a quest. Our brains are wired to help us find what we seek. We search, we question, we dialogue with one another, all to discover what we are looking for.
  • The result of all this searching and discovery can reenforce a sense of awe and wonder. Scientists say being aware of wonder has emotional, psychological and even spiritual benefits.
  • Christ’s message to his disciples
  • In this fairly short passage, Jesus offers images of the kingdom that are both familiar and surprising — which is his point.
  • He also suggests that finding the kingdom takes some effort.
  • It’s interesting to note that in this passage, Jesus uses a series of similes or comparisons that would resonate with his particular audience:
    • someone digging up a treasure in a field,
    • a merchant looking for a pearl,
    • a fisherman tossing a net into the sea.
  • To modern listeners, they may seem antiquated or quaint.
  • But to the people of his day, Jesus was offering an astonishing idea: the kingdom is closer than you may realize.
    • It is accessible to anyone with (so to speak) a shovel, a net or the desire to find something of value.
    • All you need to do is dig, cast or look.
  • The Takeaway: Seeking and finding the kingdom around us
  • All of us, in many ways, are people on a quest — seeking things of quantifiable value, such as more stylish clothing, a better car or a higher paying job.
  • Often we are further motivated to pursue more immeasurable values, such as dignity, self-worth, purpose, satisfaction, peace of mind, joy or love.
  • In this gospel, Jesus reveals that what we truly treasure is found in the kingdom of God, and it is closer than we may realize.
  • Jesus drives home the idea that the kingdom is not a place, or a destination, or a geographical point on the map.
    • Rather, it is a way of living and loving:
    • what the early followers of Jesus would call “The Way.”
  • The disciples were taught that this kingdom was something both familiar and surprising, and that discovering it would fill their hearts with unexpected joy.
  • All of us may be seeking to find the kingdom in our lives. Where do we find it?

Litmus test

  • Everything we seek does not always lead us to the kingdom revealed in Jesus
  • Thus, we need some guidance for discerning what is of passing value and what is that pearl of great price.
  • The first reading gives us something of that litmus test
    • Solomon did not act in his self-interest
    • He did not ask for earthly riches
    • Nor did he seek revenge or violence on enemies.
    • Rather, he asks for an understanding heart.
  • God’s understanding heart is fully revealed in Jesus’ own sacred heart
    • A heart that communicated love for the stranger
    • respect for the marginalized
    • and justice for the outcasts.
  • Today we also pray for understanding hearts, that together we too might further God’s reign in our lives and in the world.

 

 

Tags: Awe, Curiosity, Kingdom, Psychology

Related Homily Outlines

Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday BY GREG KANDRA, March 28, 2024 Lectionary 39: Exod 12:1-8, 11-14 Ps 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18 1 Cor 11:23-26 John...

4th Sunday of Year B

4th Sunday of Year BBY GREG KANDRA, January 28, 2024 Lectionary 71: Deut 18:15-20 Ps 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9 1 Cor 7:32-35 Mark 1:21-28[dipi_advanced_tabs...
3rd Sunday of Advent, Year A

3rd Sunday of Advent, Year B

3rd Sunday of Advent, Year BBY GREG KANDRA, December 17, 2023 Lectionary 8: Isa 61:1-2A, 10-11 Luke 1: 46-48, 49-50, 53-54 1 Thess 5:16-24 John...
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin MaryBY GREG KANDRA, January 1, 2024 Lectionary 622: Rev 11:19A; 12:1-6A, 10AB Ps 45:10, 11, 12, 16...
Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year A

Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year A

Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year ABY GREG KANDRA, March 19, 2023 Lectionary 31 1 Sam 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a Ps 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6, Eph 5:8-14 John...
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year CLectionary 153: Wis 11:22-12:2 Ps 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13, 14 2 Thess 1:11-2:2 Luke 19:1-10[dipi_advanced_tabs...
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year CBY GREG KANDRA, October 09, 2022 Lectionary 144: 2 Kgs 5:14-17 Ps 98:1, 2-3, 3-4 2 Tim 2:8-13 Luke...
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin MaryBY GREG KANDRA, August 15, 2023 Lectionary 622: Rev 11:19A; 12:1-6A, 10AB Ps 45:10, 11, 12, 16...
Third Sunday of Easter

Third Sunday of Easter

Third Sunday of EasterBY GREG KANDRA, May 01, 2022 Lectionary 48: Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41 Ps 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13 Rev 5:11-14 John 21:1-19 ...

Couldn’t find what you’re looking for?

Try searching with another filter

Preaching with Sciences

Edward Foley, Capuchin
Duns Scotus Professor Emeritus of Spirituality
Professor of Liturgy and Music (retired)
Catholic Theological Union
Vice-Postulator, Cause of Blessed Solanus