Monday, October 24, 2011

TUESDAY, October 25, 2011

Luke's gospel for Tuesday is an account of Jesus' very clear message to those listening to him ... most Jewish folks including among them some of the religious leaders.  And the message:  get up and out of your complacency.  I have been giving you an invitation to follow me.  If you would do that, you will be in the Kingdom.  Why is he saying this to them?  Jesus recognized that many of the Jewish people and their religious leaders had made a choice:  they were convinced that they were among those who would eventually dine at the Lord's table in the heavenly kingdom.  It is surprising that Jesus did speak out more often about the complacency of those who just presumed they were Jewish and would certainly be included in the Kingdom.

Jesus' message was also clear:  those who do not make the effort to accept his teachings and follow his way will not dine in the Kingdom of God.  Those who accept the invitation and all that it means will be those who stand with the Lord in his Kingdom.  The places of those who live complacently will be given rather to the poor in spirit.  The Jewish people looked down on these people.  Jesus is say:  Take note, my friends.  These people have responded to the Lord's invitation.  They have earned it through their sufferings and fidelity.

Is this phenomenon alive in our culture, our world today?  This might indeed be the question for those who have rewritten the Commandments and the guidelines of our faith.  Surely many are willing to speak out in objection to teachings that do not satisfy their desires.  Can they answer the question:  Do you have any concern that God will NOT accept you into his Kingdom?

The doorway to the Kingdom is always open to those who willingly accept the invitation that Jesus continues to issue to his followers even in our times.