Engaging the Word: 09/28/14
In the version of the our father given in Luke’s Gospel, it seems that Jesus gives a simple and straightforward definition of the Kingdom of God. In giving the prayer Jesus says, “thy Kingdom come,” and then goes on to describe the Kingdom as that circumstance in which God’s will is done “on earth as it is in heaven.” Heaven is that place where God’s will is perfectly known and done. The Kingdom or the Reign of God, is realized when God’s will is known and done on earth just as it is in heaven. One of the big differences between heaven and earth is that heaven is eternal, existing outside of time and space, and earth is temporal, a place where things can change for better or for worse.
The reading this Sunday from the profit Ezekiel hints at the good news that Jesus will share in his preaching, the good news that the Kingdom of God is at hand and that it any moment in time we can stop, take stock of our situation, and step into the Kingdom by coming to know and do God’s will. Ezekiel points to the fact that in time we have the chance to turn around and head in the right direction. The direction in which we are headed really does matter, does have eternal consequences.
The Psalm selected for this Sunday is a prayer for guidance, that we may know the good way, and the selection from Paul’s letter to the Philippians encourages us to, like Jesus, follow the good way no matter the cost.
In the selection for Matthew’s Gospel this week, we hear Jesus remind us that good intentions are not enough. Although the invitation to life in the Kingdom comes without a cost, life in the Kingdom is about action, about love. If one is not actively receiving and sharing the love of God, one has abandoned the free invitation of eternal life with God.
May we receive the grace to genuinely enter into the Kingdom, to come to know God’s will and let it no matter the cost.
1st Reading: Ezekiel 18: 25-28 ~ Responsorial: Psalm 25: 4-5, 6–9
2nd Reading: Philippians 2: 1-11~ Gospel: Matthew 21:28-32
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