Year C: 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Second Reading: based on Hebrews 12: 18-19, 22-24
Last week, the writer of the letter to the Hebrews reflected on how being a child of God can require training and that training can require suffering and punishment - as in any human family. As we saw, however, we are not dwell on the discomforts but, in effect, to pick ourselves up and carry on.
However, this is not because we court suffering or welcome punishment but because we know that we have been invited to the “festival” in which each of us has an assured place as child of God and citizen of heaven. This festival is like the party described by Jesus at the end of the Gospel - to which all are invited regardless of wealth and status. It is impossible to imagine the seating plan at such a party - but, somehow, we can be sure that all are equal: none is placed higher or lower.
This awareness of our eternal destiny is one which can help us in our development of humility. Here we are, ordinary people leading ordinary lives - and yet, we are citizens of heaven! We have done nothing to earn this - it comes free with our decision to follow Jesus. that decision may well impose sacrifice and suffering - as Jesus said it would - but, as St Peter says, such sufferings are as nothing compared to the glory that awaits us.
In times of trial and difficulty - times of depression and loneliness, it is hard to hang on to the fact of our destiny. The greyness of this world closes in and we lose sight of the richness on the horizon. There is no easy solution to this - rather it is a matter of exercising that aspect of faith and rehearsing it. Then, in the dark times, although we may not be able to “feel” joyful and positive - our souls know deep-down that all shall be well - that the reservation has been made - our names are known - and our place at the eternal banquet is assured.
What does it mean for me?
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