Entering the Kingdom

– Monday Week 1 of Lent –

“Come you that are blessed by my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food.”  [Matthew 24:34-35]

This passage is in the form of an apocalyptic revelation discourse and is the high point of Matthew’s account of Jesus’ public ministry.

In yesterday’s text, Jesus is portrayed as alone and vulnerable in the wilderness, subject to questioning by Satan. Today, the portrait could not be more dissimilar. Here we see the King attended by an angelic retinue, seated on the throne of his glory with all the world’s nations gathered before him, beholding his majesty. From this throne, Christ will use his divine authority to decide those worthy of entering this kingdom.

On what basis are those true followers of his kingdom …the sheep…separated from the rest…the goats? The answer given here is bold: those chosen to enter into his glory will be those who have demonstrated their understanding of the dictates of the kingdom and their faithfulness by acts of compassion and loving-kindness to the least among them, the hungry, the needy, the sick and the imprisoned.

Pope Francis echoed this teaching in his 2020 homily for Ash Wednesday: “Ashes are sprinkled on our heads so that the fire of love can be kindled in our hearts. We are citizens of heaven, and our love for God and neighbour is our passport to heaven.”

To bear witness to Christ is to be a witness to the kingdom in service to others. It is this service that announces the reality of the kingdom of God and reveals if we are the disciples of Jesus in reality.


by Janiene Wilson

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