content from Creighton University's Daily Reflections
Kevin Kersten, S.J., School of Medicine
TThe Reign of God and Our Role in ItThe parable of Jesus in Matthew’s gospel today refers to the Kingdom of Heaven. “The Kingdom of Heaven,” for him, is the same as “the Reign of God” in the other Gospels. Matthew uses “Heaven” because his community is made up of Jews who have become Christians. He is sensitive to what they are used to. They rarely refer to God as God, because they regard the word God as sacred. So they used circumlocutions speaking of God, as does Matthew in today’s Gospel. His readers who left the Jewish community to become Christians knew full well he was referring to God.
When Jesus speaks of the Reign of God, He proclaims God as the living God, acting concretely, in our history and now. The kings, emperors, and presidents of our world and throughout history may hold sway for a time but, like Ozymandias, their reign eventually crumbles. The reign of our God perdures. It begins with creation, is actively present now, and will continue to be active, guiding us and our world until the end of time and into His eternal Kingdom.
God’s Reign is His creative love for each of us personally, and for all of us collectively. It prevails when each of us personally, one by one, and all of us together as a world-wide community, let God’s love take over in our lives. What does today’s parable from Matthew tell us about the Reign of God?
The master, leaving on a long trip, portions out his fortune to three servants. Two realize the master wants a return on his capital, so they invest it and double it. When he returns, he praises both because both gave him a 100% return. The third servant, however, buried the money for fear of losing it. The master is outraged. He was angry because the servant had allowed fear to paralyze him. So afraid was he of losing money that he did not even take the very modest risk of depositing it in a bank.