This Sunday we have heard a group of parables about the kingdom of heaven. The last two Sundays we heard about the sowers of seeds, and how the word will be heard by many, and accepted by few. This was something new to the Jews, who frankly did not know much about the heavenly realm. They were more worried about earthly realms, and the kingdom of Israel in particular. The Jews to whom Jesus was speaking knew something about kingdoms. Since the first king Saul had united the tribes of Israel into a united Monarchy, the kingdom of Israel was a historical certainty. Along with kingdom was a constant theme of battle.
This past week Laurie and I were at Camp Crucis for the Confetti conference. And for added fun we had our grandson Wyatt with us! Confetti is a multi-age conference for K through 5th grade, and there had to be over a hundred fifty kids there. A fellow priest that I have known since we were boy scouts and I served as the spiritual directors for the week. We taught two sessions each day, one for the younger group and the other for the older ones. My friend, Fr. Moseley has a lot of gray curly hair, so I introduced him as Fr. Salt, and myself as Fr. Pepper. It was one of those moments of divine inspiration. I knew they would remember our names at least!
“You are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you.” Romans 8:9 When I woke up this morning, my back and my knees reminded me that I am still in the flesh There are several interpretations of St. Paul’s teaching about the flesh. Some focus on the temptations of the flesh, as in every conceivable thing that he teaches against. He lists them in the letter to the Galatians, chapter 5: Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.