Thursday, August 28, 2008

Keys of the Kingdom of heaven : Reflections from Fr.Tom

Keys of the Kingdom of heaven.

Jesus bestowed these keys to Peter as a reward for his confession of faith in the gospel we read at mass, 21st Ordinary Sunday (Mt 16.13-20). Jesus gave Peter, “The Rock”, the power to close and open the doors to eternal happiness.

To my thinking, Jesus has given us all keys, even if not of the same kind as he gave to Peter. Keys are symbols of power. They open or close. Even now when a city or hamlet wants to honor a person in a very special way, they bestow on the person the keys of the city or hamlet. Keys are symbols of possession. Thus when we buy a house from another, the seller gives to the buyer the keys of the house, thereby meaning that the house is now yours. You own the house. So also when we get the keys of a car or any other type of vehicle we own the vehicle for good or for a while.

God has given us keys to all of us. In the Church, at baptism we were given such keys to the kingdom of heaven. Faith was the key. Faith is still the key to all the promises of Jesus. One has to use the keys to have access to this kingdom of haven. Baptism gave us the key to the other six sacraments and graces they bestow. Faith gives us the key to unlock the secrets of the Word of God. How do we use these keys? Most of the time we just pocket the keys and do nothing to unlock the goodies they hide. We tend to live a life of spiritual poverty and starvation. Then we blame God or the Church for our situation. So many live lives of quiet desperation only because they forget that they have the keys to happiness for now and later. The sacraments unlock the infinite merits of Jesus’ passion and death but we live in penury. Why? Come on, use your keys. Be rich beyond measure. Be fed. You do not have to pay for it as it has already been paid for dearly by Jesus. This is why Isaiah says:
"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

3 Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.” Is 55.1-3. Jesus in his own fashion invited all who are thirsty:
“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as[a] the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.” Jn 37-39.

But the tragedy is that we hear / read these saving words but we neither understand them nor heed them to our own discomfiture. We rather spend our “money” on trash, on junk food of the cheap soap operas of the TV and the internet. We have the key to a huge bank account but we rather live in utter spiritual poverty and degradation. Keys! Use your keys to princely living!


Joji said...

Dear Fr. Tom. How true .. You have really prompted me to use the keys that god has given me. Pray that I use them to the fullest extent possible.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!~ This is the most relevant message I have heakd regarding the "Keys to the Kingdom"