August 28, 2016
A leading Pharisee has Jesus over for dinner on a sabbath. There are other people there to observe him.
Then Jesus tells them a parable.
Both in the setting of the passage and in the parable, people all operate with certain motivations and agendas.
And it is still true in our context today. Most of the time, we do things with certain motivations and agendas. And often, they are self-serving.
Jesus, on the contrary, operates differently. Each day, Jesus invites us to a meal where he offers himself as food of eternal life for us. His only agenda is our wellbeing and salvation.
What are my motivations and agendas?
August 20, 2016
People will come to the Kingdom of God
This passage from Luke’s Gospel follows two parables of the mustard seed and the yeast. Both are small things in appearance but both have the capacity of making a big difference and even a great impact.
Each follower of Christ – when we are true to our identity – can be like the mustard seed and the yeast. In our own situation, we can and are called to transform our world.
This mission has its scope in the words of Jesus that we listen to today, "people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God."
In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are called to live and spread God’s Kingdom of Mercy by our works of mercy.
Moreover, the Year of Mercy ends on the Feast of Christ the King can be seen as both a conviction and a statement of faith. We profess that the Kingdom of God’s Mercy is already among us. Yet, we are called to build that Kingdom until the whole creation has embraced God’s Mercy.
That is the extent of our mission. We, God’s mustard seeds and yeast, have the mission of bringing “people from the east and the west and from the north and the south to recline at table the kingdom of God.”
August 13, 2016
“To Set the Earth on Fire”
A week ago, Jesus told us “your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom,” (Luke 12:32). Yet, today, in the same chapter, he speaks of some really troublesome things.
What’s the idea here?
On the one hand, Jesus’ words, referring to divisions even within families, might be interpreted as disturbing and hard to accept. In fact, we know some people rejected his message then. Many still do today.
On the other hand, the gift of God’s kingdom that Jesus brought us is the greatest gift. It is greater than what is considered natural in a human family. There might be times when one’s family is not willing to accept it. Even then, the gift of the kingdom of God is worth the rejection of one’s own family.
And this message from Jesus might even mean that anyone who has been given the gift of the kingdom would do all one could to share that gift with everybody, beginning with one’s own family.
That is the fire Jesus gives us to share with all until the whole earth is blazing with the fire of God’s love.