by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace
Now in order to begin our reflection on today’s Gospel lesson, it’s important to remind ourselves once more where we are in this Gospel of Matthew that we read every Sunday this year. At the beginning of his public life in the Gospel, Jesus had proclaimed the good news: “The reign of God is at hand. Change your lives.” The reign of God is at hand; that’s what the good news is.
The reign of God: Remind yourselves that’s the dynamic rule of God’s infinite, unsurpassable love. It’s a situation where every human person — all of creation, in fact — are guided and made to develop and grow under this power of God’s love. It’s a time when the reign of God, when it comes to its fulfillment, every person will have a full human life. There’ll be peace and joy. All that we ever long for comes to fullness in the reign of God, and it’s at hand; it’s beginning.
In the last few Sundays, we heard teachings of Jesus to help us try to understand what we mean by the reign of God — the different parables. You can go back and reflect on those by rereading those Gospel lessons from the last three or four Sundays. But today, we move on. It’s not just teaching about the parables — Jesus shows what happens, how the power of God’s love works as the reign of God breaks forth…