The culture of our age, due to amazing technology, believes we can possibly do everything if just given the time. We cannot keep up with new inventions, new products, new social developments and the ever mystical language of the young. Yet no matter how fast our world goes it gets us nowhere but and most do not know why the frenetic activity that seems to have no meaning and yet still escalating in speed. There is this sense of I want to be in everything that’s happening, I want to know everything that is happening and the reason why it is happening. If people did not get involved they feel like being left behind by the world. And for this reason when activity stops people find themselves surprised with so many deep questions of self, others, society and life itself. So disappointed that technology could not give answers to. There remains a constant anxiety within.
This is the arrogance of a modern culture which thinks that they can create and uncreate with the vast knowledge available to it. It’s a make believe world that reality is only what we can see and observe and analyze. So inactivity which can be used for thinking, searching, contemplation of things around us is denied. So from the personal inability to find these deepest questions we again turn to ourselves and find answers in Utopias. We have a vision of a society that is well ordered, a society that caters to our own values, dreaming of a world that all has the same thinking and uniform approach to life. Sadly as we have seen it does not work. The gospel today reminds us that there is power and force that is at work beyond our society and the world we live in. That global events are not only produced by human will and action.
There is a spirit world too and not material only. And that a spiritual world runs parallel to our human history. History is not merely a story of what happened to human beings and still happening to them. It is governed by this spiritual power and Will. It is as the parable in the gospel say the power of a small mustard seed (the power and glory of the kingdom) that is developing within our daily existence. It is almost imperceptive but we glimpses of it.: the people’s revolution against tyranny, a higher consciousness and awareness of racism, the acknowledgement that we have damaged the earth severly and needs to be repaired, the protection of the dignity of women. One may say it is too slow and insignificant in comparison to the power at work in the world but name one power that stayed permanently. Empires and kingdoms have come and are now gone and so is our present system of government. Society and peoples have their permanence only in consonance with the power of the kingdom like a seed which inevitably will grow. Because this power will bring us through in spite of the powers in the world.
Pope Francis warned us in his latest encylcial not to align ourselves with any power in this world. Not to put our hope on leaders that will solve problems of society; to solve what we think needs to be solved. All are under the judgement of the kingdom of heaven. St. Paul already said to his flock: “Don’t you know you will be judging angels at the end.” One day perhaps late in life, or when we look back from God’s throne on the last day we shall say with amazement and surprise: “if I had ever dreamed that in the midst of my care and troubles and despairs His harvest was ripening and that everything was pressing on toward his last kingly day, I would have been calm and confident.
Had I believed that there is a growing power parallel to worldly power I would have been more optimistic and caring and loving in spite of all odds. I would have lit a candle instead of cursing the darkness. Had I read the signs, the little humble signs of the kingdom in this life I would have left long ago the narrow confines of my life which I have created because I stuck to my ideas and understanding about life and the world. I would have freed myself from the narrow confines of my make believe world and self-induced one. I never realized that my world was so narrow. The kingdom is inviting all peoples to enter it so that it may experience its joy and peace. To call the gathering here for the sake of the kingdom, the church.
Yet, not one church of a given country is the Church, but all different churches. There is no national church or national churches but only one church and it is found in the matrix of the kingdom. It’s in a little seed. Like an atom waiting for its energy to be released. The kingdom is the hope of all peoples even those who are not called christians for in their hearts are also the values and spirit of the kingdom. The mustard seed is in all the hearts of people. They need to find it there.