Reflection 15th October 2017

A Reflection for the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matt 22:1-14 (

The current Holy Father, Pope Francis, will, for many people, be associated with the love of God and the mercy of God. He emphasises such notions constantly, clearly the result of prayerful reflection on the reality of the God we believe in. Where is this God? ‘In the world around us? ‘In the majesty of human beings for whom His Son died.? Is He confined to a place we call Heaven? Where is this place?

Clearly, we humans, fallible as we are and tied to material reality, locate this place in time and space. But this is not the language of Jesus. He speaks metaphorically when He speaks of Heaven as a place for banquets and such experiences. However, heaven, for those who prayerfully listen to the wisdom of the Spirit, is God! When our time comes we go to God, the God spoken about in Luke 15, the Father who accepts us, warts and all, when we go humbly and admit our wrongdoing.

For some – perhaps for many – God is judge, jury and executioner, a God to be feared. 

Jesus said to Thomas: “Do you not realize...He who sees me, sees the Father!” 

And how did Jesus act? Mercy was the heart of his action. The Father He projected is one who loves and is merciful. That's the God we go to; that's the place we call heaven.

The issue of time and place must not enter the equation. The heavenly banquet is the joy of God's presence; we just need to be properly dressed, right?

Paul Walsh C.S.Sp. – Fr. Paul spent over a decade on mission in Kenya, and more than 20 years in Australia. He is currently chaplain at Marian House, the Spiritans’ nursing home in Kimmage Manor.