Clicking on the links below will bring you to the Sunday Mass readings published by the USCCB; scroll down the USCCB page to find the Gospel readings.
Through the Lens of the Kingdom
“Fear not little flock. It has pleased the Father to give you a Kingdom.” What if you knew that you were going to inherit a Kingdom? Wouldn’t you be curious to know what it would be like?
Although All Saints’ Day isn’t a Sunday, it’s a very important feast. The Gospel (Mt 5:1-12a) for this day gives us an important glimpse of the Kingdom. The people in it will be poor in spirit and persecuted. They will be meek, merciful and peaceful. They will be pure of heart and hungry for justice. It seems like entrance to this kingdom is gained by resembling Jesus who is the model of all these things. So now we know what our fellow citizens will be like.
Our next two Gospels don’t specifically mention the kingdom. But where we have Jesus, we always have a proclamation of the kingdom because he is inseparable from his kingdom and he is always telling us something about it.
In Mk 12:38-44, we find out what entrance to Heaven costs. It costs everything. Jesus showed us the way by his life and death. Here he points it out by his praise of the widow and his condemnation of anyone trying to hold on to possessions, honors or anything else. So there is an exchange: we give up our two coins and we receive an eternal weight of glory. This sounds like a good exchange.
When will we enter and where is the entrance? (Mk 13:24-32) We don’t know the time so we have to always be ready with our lamps of faith lit, our talents increased and our brothers and sisters served. Just as the fig tree in leaf is a sign of summer so lives lived for God become a sign of his coming kingdom. The entrance is through attentiveness to the words of Jesus and also through tribulation. But if we are attentive to the words of Jesus, tribulation becomes a path to the Kingdom.
We already saw a good portrait of our King on All Saints’ Day. Now as we celebrate Christ the King, let’s take another look at him. (Jn18:33b-37) He is standing beaten, bloody and ragged before another ruler who seems to be quite powerful. Yet how many people obey Pontius Pilate nowadays? And did anyone, even at his time, obey him out of love? Did anyone ever ponder his words to find truth and eternal happiness?
Our King Jesus has real power. That power is the ability to show us the truth and the ability to draw us to him by his love.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5-6)