for Sunday, July 17, 2011
Those who are just must be kind - this phrase from our first reading today
can be a light for us to understand the other readings. The Book of Wisdom
is filled with wonderful sayings such as this one. Too often we think of a
just person as one who can be rigid and unbending. Perhaps this is a
modern phenomenon because in the past, to be a just person was a virtue.
Today it can be used a sense to put a person down. When we meet a person
who is just and kind, then we begin to understand what true justice is
The Kingdom of Heaven is what we are interested in. We want to be members
of the Kingdom of Heaven. We want to be people who live in the Kingdom
every day. Matthew's Gospel will give us many images to help us understand
the Kingdom. Some of these images are given to us today: the Kingdom is
present even when we find sin and brokenness because at the heart of the
Kingdom is repentance and forgiveness. The Kingdom is present when we find
the smallest trace of grace, the smallest touch of God's love and presence.
The Kingdom is present when we avoid sin and help others live in grace.
The Kingdom is about the mysterious presence of God the Holy Spirit. Even
when we are weak, the Spirit prays within us. Even when we don't know how
to pray, the Spirit prays within us. The intention of the Spirit is known
always by the Father. The intention of the Spirit is to intercede for us,
which is why the Spirit is called Advocate and Paraclete.
God Himself tells us about the Kingdom and invites us to live in the
Kingdom. Our challenge this Sunday is to have ears that hear so that we
can follow the Word of the Lord. If we cannot hear His invitation, we
cannot follow it. It we do hear the invitation but find it difficult, that
is fairly normal. We are invited to live completely in the Kingdom and to
embrace all that is difficult in Kingdom living.
One way of beginning to live in the Kingdom is to submit to the power of
the Holy Spirit and for us to pray that the Holy Spirit will not only live
within us but will completely possess us in a divine way. Even though we
are now in the Sunday after Pentecost, Sundays which are now called Sundays
of Ordinary Time, we can still invoke the Holy Spirit:
Come, Holy Spirit! Fill our hearts and our minds. Draw us into the
Kingdom. Give us wisdom to know your will and the strength to live your
will in our daily lives.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: