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Room for everyone – 5th Sunday of Easter 2023
There are those for whom religion must be exclusive and excluding for them to see it as real; it must define both who is in, and who is out, in order to be valid.
They will have a strong sense of rules that must be obeyed and punishments that must be meted out for infractions. For such a way of thinking, love may be conditional, forgiveness contingent, and acceptance circumscribed and reserved to those deemed worthy. Religion is thereby seen as offering structure, order and freedom from the uncertainties of life. But what if divine love is boundless, and forgiveness is freely and unreservedly given? What if the divine nature is paradoxical, boundless, indefinable, unimaginable, incomparable, surpassing and transcending any limitations that our psyches might like to impose?
What if scripture means far more than our preconceptions might like to imagine?
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.