17th Week in Ord. Time, Thursday – 30th July 2020 — Gospel: Mt 13,47-53
Become scribes for the kingdom
Jesus ends his teaching unit in Matthew 13 by creating a more descriptive explanation of the kingdom of heaven. He describes about the scribes bringing out new and old from their treasure (13,51-52). The emphasis is on the newness of what Jesus is teaching, but it is based on his announcement of “what has been hidden from the foundation of the world” (13,35), which Jesus cites from Ps 78,2. This treasure of old, yet always becomes new because of Jesus’ teachings. What is this ancient message Jesus is now proclaiming new? Its clearest expression is provided in the parable of the net: there is always a mixed bag of good and evil, even in the Church, but in the end, God will sort out things. The evil will perish, and the righteous will be part of God’s bountiful and glorious harvest. Those who commit themselves to the kingdom will triumph in the end. As the disciples continue to grow in their responsibility for the community established by Jesus, they become scribes “trained for the kingdom of heaven” (13,52). Like a homeowner who draws upon both new and old resources in managing the household, the disciples must keep faith with the Torah and prophets of Israel while boldly proclaiming the fulfilled and definitive teachings of Jesus. The disciples, as leaders, must represent a Christianity encompassing both the old covenant and the new.