The Kingdom of Heaven is Abundant Life

As we near the end of the liturgical year, we start to hear the messages we need at the end of things. Jesus is preparing us to enter Paradise, but our understanding falls  short of God’s way. The feast metaphor, in favour of the outcasts, and the rejection of those who had believed themselves the ones worthy can be profoundly troubling to those of us who believe and are working hard to be faithful.

Perhaps Paul’s reminder in the second reading provides a key: God will supply all the glory we need, according to His wealth, according to His will. There is certainly pain, injustice and poverty in this life; it would be spiritual abuse to deny this. As we follow Jesus, there is a freedom that emerges right within earthly suffering, allowing us to glimpse, taste and touch eternity even here. This is not a justification for the wealthy to hoard, or for the privileged to turn a blind eye to suffering. All are called to set the captives free and be part of whatever liberation God desires to work through us. It is, however, a reminder that the Kingdom of Heaven begins in this life to the extent that Jesus transforms us. There is no circumstance God cannot reach into.

Where are our attitudes, excuses, or rejections which block Him from transforming us and our world?

King of Heaven, make our hearts and lives the villages and cities of your Kingdom on earth. Knock down the walls we have put up to keep you out. Fortify our conviction of your presence among us now, that we may walk on the thin line between earth and heaven, even now.