Does charity really begin at home? – All Saints & All Souls.
Perhaps one of the hidden dangers of keeping ‘All Saints Sunday’ is to project their goodness away from ourselves. To see sainthood as rarely bestowed, exceptionally lived out, the province of the miraculous and extraordinary. Examples perhaps, but ones that shouldn’t trouble us too much as they are so far removed from the normal, the average, the everyday human condition – hardly human at all, divine, godlike creatures. But the proximity of the feasts of All Saints and that of All Souls reminds us that the witness and example of the few, must also be reflected in the witness and example of the many. In Luke’s Gospel Jesus’s Sermon on the Plain confronts us with stark choices, for does charity really begin at home?
Whether they be church-goers or not, most people if you asked them would agree; Advent is most definitely a time of preparation.
But, of course, the key question is preparation for what?
Indeed, the very notion of preparation would imply that we have some understanding of that for which we prepare.
Christ the King could be considered a somewhat awkward Sunday to celebrate. It can strike a rather discordant note, and ring the wrong kind of bells.
It carries the danger of conjuring up images of a Byzantine royal court of power, of wealth, riches and status.
Today’s Parable of the Talents is not really about money – despite the fact that Matthew’s listeners would have been shocked into awed silence by the sums mentioned.
Whenever we read scripture we do need to remember who was the immediate intended audience.