Catechism of the Catholic Church

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