All Saints Messenger - September 28, 2017

posted Oct 5, 2017, 12:39 PM by Church Secretary
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Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

While at seminary one of my professors had an old beat up Saturn that appeared to be kept together with bumper stickers. Most of us who counted them one day stopped after we reached 100. One of the stickers I remember well was, "Question Authority."

On the face of it, this gospel reading seems to be about authority. The religious leaders challenge Jesus' right to teach and preach, particularly in the Temple. The real issue isn't about authority. It's about the extent of God's grace. Jesus offended his listeners when he pointed out that those who are viewed as immoral or outsiders seemed to understand repentance better than those who were religious insiders.

What I find interesting in this passage is Jesus' comment that sinners are "going into the kingdom of God ahead of you." He doesn't say, "instead of you." Sometimes our understanding of God's love is way too small. Jesus welcomed all kinds of sinners--"freaks" and outsiders. There is grace enough for everyone and room for all of us in the kingdom.

Heavenly Father, there is a wideness in your mercy. Empty us of our pride, judgments and prejudices, that we might be instruments of your peace, love and welcome in our hurting world. Amen.

See ya Sunday,
Fr. Gary+