EMBRACING THE INCLUSIVE PRIVILEGE OF GOD’S KINGDOM: A CALL TO AWE AND OBEDIENCE
First Reading: Exodus 40:16-21,34-38
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 83(84):3-6,8,11
Gospel: Matthew 13:47-53
In the vast tapestry of God’s divine plan, we are offered an unparalleled privilege – an invitation to embrace the Kingdom of God. This Kingdom knows no boundaries, welcoming all who seek God’s grace and love with open arms. The readings of Exodus 40:16-21,34-38, Psalm 83(84):3-6,8,11, and the Gospel of Matthew 13:47-53 unravel the awe-inspiring inclusivity of God’s Kingdom and its transformative power in our lives. However, with this privilege comes a solemn responsibility: to never take for granted the divine invitation and to guard against abusing this sacred gift, lest we face the consequences of squandering God’s unfathomable grace.
In the First Reading from Exodus (40:16-21,34-38), we encounter the breathtaking scene of the tabernacle’s consecration. God’s glory descends upon the tabernacle, filling it with His majestic presence. The Israelites are privileged to experience the tangible nearness of God, witnessing His cloud by day and fire by night as a guiding beacon. They are the recipients of divine guidance and protection, an honor beyond measure. Yet, despite this remarkable privilege, the Israelites tragically fail to honor and preserve the sanctity of their covenant with God. Their history is marred with moments of disobedience, unfaithfulness, and idolatry, leading to dire consequences. While some may have entered the Promised Land, many were excluded from its blessings due to their lack of faith and obedience. The Israelites’ journey serves as a cautionary tale, reminding us that even when given extraordinary privileges, we must guard against complacency and uphold our commitment to God.
Similarly, the Psalmist in Psalm 83(84) expresses deep yearning and awe for the dwelling places of the Lord. Even the humble sparrow and swallow find a home near God’s altars, highlighting the inclusivity of God’s Kingdom. It is a place of refuge, a sanctuary of grace, and a dwelling place of love for all who seek Him. The privilege of entering God’s Kingdom is offered to each and every soul, regardless of background or status.
The Gospel of Matthew (13:47-53) resonates with the theme of inclusivity in God’s Kingdom. Jesus presents the parable of the fishing net, drawing attention to the vast scope of God’s invitation to His Kingdom. Just as the net gathers fish of every kind, so too does God’s Kingdom embrace people from all walks of life. His mercy extends to all who seek Him, regardless of their past, status, or background. However, this inclusive call bears a sobering truth – not all who enter the Kingdom will remain in its embrace. The parable emphasizes the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who embrace the privilege of God’s Kingdom and those who abuse it. Just as the net is drawn in and sorted, so too will there be a final judgment where our choices and actions in this life will determine our eternal destiny.
Dear friends in Christ, as we contemplate the profound message of these readings, we are confronted with a profound truth – the privilege of God’s inclusive Kingdom comes with great responsibility. We are called to approach this divine invitation with humility, gratitude, and faithfulness. In the splendor of God’s presence, we find the source of true fulfillment and purpose. Let us never take this privilege for granted, but instead treasure the gift of God’s love and grace. Like the Israelites, we must learn from their history, guarding our hearts against the allure of disobedience and faithlessness. By embracing the inclusive call of God’s Kingdom and living in accordance with His divine will, we ensure that our place in the Promised Land is eternally secured.
Above all, the awe-inspiring inclusivity of God’s Kingdom calls us to a deeper appreciation of its privilege and a resolute commitment to honor and preserve this divine gift. May we heed the call to embrace God’s love and grace, recognizing the eternal consequences of our choices. As we journey through life, may we never lose sight of the indescribable honor of being invited into God’s inclusive Kingdom, and may our hearts overflow with gratitude and faithfulness as we abide in His sacred presence.
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© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Loreto, Vila Medeiros, São Paulo, Brazil
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