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The Profession of Faith

139

The proclamation of the Kingdom of God

543

Everyone

is called to enter the kingdom. First announced

to the children of Israel, this messianic kingdom is intended to

accept men of all nations.

251

To enter it, one must first accept Jesus’

word:

The word of the Lord is compared to a seed which is sown

in a field; those who hear it with faith and are numbered

among the little flock of Christ have truly received the king-

dom. Then, by its own power, the seed sprouts and grows

until the harvest.

252

544

The kingdom belongs

to the poor and lowly,

which means

those who have accepted it with humble hearts. Jesus is sent to

“preach good news to the poor”;

253

he declares them blessed, for

“theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

254

To them—the “little ones”—

the Father is pleased to reveal what remains hidden from the wise

and the learned.

255

Jesus shares the life of the poor, from the cradle

to the cross; he experiences hunger, thirst, and privation.

256

Jesus

identifies himself with the poor of every kind and makes active

love toward them the condition for entering his kingdom.

257

545

Jesus invites

sinners

to the table of the kingdom: “I came

not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

258

He invites them to that

conversion without which one cannot enter the kingdom, but

shows them in word and deed his Father’s boundless mercy for

them and the vast “joy in heaven over one sinner who repents.”

259

The supreme proof of his love will be the sacrifice of his own life

“for the forgiveness of sins.”

260

546

Jesus’ invitation to enter his kingdom comes in the form of

parables,

a characteristic feature of his teaching.

261

Through his

parables he invites people to the feast of the kingdom, but he also

asks for a radical choice: to gain the kingdom, one must give

everything.

262

Words are not enough; deeds are required.

263

The

251 Cf.

Mt

8:11; 10:5-7; 28:19.

252

LG

5; cf.

Mk

4:14, 26-29;

Lk

12:32.

253

Lk

4:18; cf. 7:22.

254

Mt

5:3.

255 Cf.

Mt

11:25.

256 Cf.

Mt

21:18

; Mk

2:23-26;

Jn

4:6-7; 19:28;

Lk

9:58.

257 Cf.

Mt

25:31-46.

258

Mk

2:17; cf.

1 Tim

1:15.

259

Lk

15:7; cf. 7:11-32.

260

Mt

26:28.

261 Cf.

Mk

4:33-34.

262 Cf.

Mt

13:44-45; 22:1-14.

263 Cf.

Mt

21:28-32.

764

709

2443

2546

1443

588, 1846

1439

2613

542