Parables and realities

Lighthouse. Prophecy. Eschatological sign.

These are words often used to talk about the purpose of Religious Life. They are big words. Words which in fact sometimes may feel a like a habit that is a bit too big - certainly on the days when you swim around felling about as radiant as an old, smelly cloth... the days when you need to remind yourself that it was Solemn Profession you made, not Solemn repression or depression. After all, you need quite a lively imagination to see signs of the Kingdom of God in an ordinary daily life full of ordinary everyday stuff - at best lived in a spirit of love and service, at worst simply an effort to get through the cold showers... or get your head over water...

Fortunately, Jesus has a lively imagination. We see this clearly demonstrated in the many parables in the Gospels. "The Kingdom of Heaven is like..." And it really is the most ordinary realities, small stuff, He casts to play the leading roles in his heavenly stories:  Leaven which makes the bread dough rise, a farmer sowing, a small seed growing into a tree. There are things which are not where they are supposed to be, not as they should be: a wayward sheep, a lost coin, old wineskins bursting.

The night before he suffered, Jesus took ordinary bread and wine, and turned them into carriers of His presence, into His own flesh and blood. The following day, the ultimate defeat became the ultimate victory. If give give ourselves over in His hands, He can make our ordinary daily life transparent for the divine. Perhaps not always to our own eyes, but certainly for the ones to whom He sends us.

For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to bring to light the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of Jesus Christ. But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
(2. Co. 4:6-7)