The Kingdom of God
Throughout His ministry, Jesus told parables to illustrate how God calls us to share in His love. A parable is a story that teaches a moral lesson or something about faith. Parables use everyday events and objects especially from nature, to teach important truths. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke contain many parables. In the following parables, Jesus teaches us about the Kingdom of God.
- The parable of the sower: the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep, the enemy came and sowed weeds. When the seeds grew, the weeds appeared as well. The workers asked: Master, do you want us to go and pull up the weeds? He replied: No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest, then at harvest time, first collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn. (read Matthew 13:24-30)
- The parable of the mustard seed: the Kingdom of Heaven is like a tiny mustard seed that becomes a large bush, and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches. (read Matthew 13:31-32)
- The parable of the buried treasure: the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (read Matthew 13:44)
- The parable of the great pearl: the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it. (read Matthew 13:45-46)
- The parable of the dragnet: the Kingdom of Heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full, fishermen haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad is thrown away. (read Matthew 13:47-48)
The Kingdom of God is God’s reign of peace, justice and love. Jesus inaugurated the Kingdom of God on earth. The Church is the seed and the beginning of God’s Kingdom. (CCC 567) When we continue Jesus’ work by following His teachings and His example, God’s Kingdom on earth grows like the tiny mustard seed; it is only at the end of time that the Kingdom of God will be fully realized. As members of the Church, we are united to each other in the Mystical Body of Christ. Each member is different, yet we work together for the Kingdom. We respond to our vocation by using our unique talents to build the Kingdom of God on earth.
Jesus Christ taught us to treat others with love, compassion, and mercy, especially those who are poor or suffering. Jesus also taught us not to allow the anxieties of riches and the pleasures of life to lead us away from God (read Luke 8:14). At life’s end, we will be judged on how well we have loved God and others. At the end of time, the angels will separate the good from the bad. Those who follow Christ will enjoy everlasting happiness, while those who do not will be thrown into the everlasting fire (read Matthew 13:42-43).
- What is a parable?
- Explain how the Kingdom of God is like a treasure buried in a field.
- Who inaugurated the Kingdom of God on earth?
- True or False. Each member of the Church is called to build the Kingdom of God on earth.
- True or False. Jesus taught us to love only our friends.