Instituted by Christ and founded on the apostles, the Church on earth is the kingdom of heaven in its seed and beginning. The Church is God the Father’s intended home for all people, deigned to be so from before time began. She is inclusive, barring no person from communion with her and her founder, Jesus Christ. It is only the individual who voluntarily excludes himself by rejecting communion with the Church through free-choices that are incompatible with the love of Christ and the rule of his kingdom.
Kingdom of Heaven
Was Jesus wrong about mustard seeds? If we’re worried about that, we’re missing the point. Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed is not intended to make scientific horticultural statements. Rather, he used the example and imagery of mustard seeds and the bushes they produce to make a metaphorical comparison with the kingdom of heaven.
The immediate response to the gaze of Jesus Christ by Peter, Andrew, James and John signals the fact that a radical change took place within their hearts. That moment, there on the shore of the sea, was no ordinary moment. The fishermen were not simply willing to let go of their way of life and the past, but actively desired to do so. More to the point, they hungered for a new life. They sensed, by God’s grace working in their souls, that this new life is itself Jesus Christ.
The kingdom of heaven is primarily about loving God and the experience of God. It is Jesus Christ who makes not only the experience of God a reality, but gives us a share in the supernatural, divine life of God. The Son of God became man not only to save us and bring about the kingdom of heaven, but to make us like God by giving us a share in the divine nature.