Gospel Thoughts 4 July 2010

July 2, 2010 at 19:01 Leave a comment

In today’s Gospel Story (Luke 10:1-12, 17-20) Jesus sends his disciples on ahead of him to preach the kingdom of God that is among them. He tells them not to do too much for their own comfort and security, but to rely on him, on “grace”. The kingdom is always among us and within us. Our task might be not so much to look for the kingdom as to become aware of it. Our need to be comfortable and secure might not be as important as we think it is. Comfort and security are not among the gifts Jesus offers us.

From time to time on our journey our lives might take on a significant change in direction and circumstance. This change allows us to re-examine our priorities and goals, and our position in the great scheme of things. We might look at our own baggage that we have been carrying and have become used to and dependent on. Retirement is one of these times. While we might know that “the game is afoot . . .”, we begin to wonder just what the game is and what the rules are. It might be that Jesus offers more questions than answers.

In the Story the disciples are happy that demons are subject to them. Jesus cautions them reminding them that power is not important, but living in the presence of the Father is. As the circumstances of our life change, living in our Father’s presence seems to be searching for new context — what is the game that is afoot?

There is so much going on in the church around the world that gives rise to unrest and pain. “In the name of Jesus” charges are being made, judgments made, penalties issued, churches closed, people not meeting certain standards of living, of marriage status, of sexual practice or orientation, are “thrown out”, secrecy invoked. It seems that believing the right things about Jesus is more important than believing in Jesus. What is the game that is afoot? How does all this reflect the kingdom of God that is among us?

Everywhere throughout the world good people are quietly doing what has to be done. Some are involved with religion, some are not. What they have in common is the good they are doing. In them and through what they do the kingdom is happening. Perhaps they understand the game that is afoot and are playing it. They do not seem to have time for bureaucracy, judgments, penalties, secrets. They are reaching out and welcoming the people Jesus reached out to and welcomed, the same people judgments and penalties are driving away. And as they are doing good, they are judged and criticized by the all-knowing and uninvolved.

What about the good people whose churches have been closed, whose marriages have failed, whose lifestyles don’t fit with what the establishment wants, who feel alone and left out? Rather than throw them out or toss them aside, can we become aware of the kingdom among them, or do we have to insist that the kingdom conform only to our standards?

These days Jesus seems to be suggesting more questions than answers. Just what is the game that is afoot, and what are the rules . . .


Entry filed under: Catholic, Gospel thoughts, Priest, retirement, thoughts.

Retirement Thoughts, 4 July 2010 Gospel Thoughts for 11 July 2010

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