Monday’s (December 4th) Gospel Reading has some incredible insight into the Communion of Saints and the Kingdom of Heaven – Reference Matthew 8:5-11.
There are two critical points that I wanted to highlight:
- When Jesus talks about Heaven in Scripture, He is always comparing it to a Wedding, a Banquet, a Vineyard with workers. It includes other people in the picture. The Image of Heaven is given to us as an activity that we participate in with other people as an integral part of this experience. In fact, if we take into consideration Christ’s admonition that “Whatever you did to the least of my brothers, you did to me” (Matt 25:40) – we can be assured that whatever activity we do with others In Heaven will by its very nature be done with Christ. It gives context to the Body of Christ that Paul talks about. When we work together for God, we are working together as one in God. In today’s reading we see Christ again demonstrate that Heaven will be realized as a banquet, in which we will be reclining with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
- This second point is a fantastic example of the role the Saints play in our lives. Here we see Jesus talking to the living (those following him) about enjoying a banquet with the departed. Of course Jesus, referring back to Moses and the burning Bush, states that “God is a God of the living” (Mark 12:27). One thing to note is that Jesus clarifies in Luke 17:21 that the Kingdom of God is among us (also reference Matt 3:2, Mark 1:15, etc.). It is here, now. Jesus doesn’t draw a distinction between Abraham, Isaac and Jacob being in the past, or in a different location even. He states that “many will come from the east and from the west (i.e. from all over), and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of Heaven.” And he’s saying it in the context of the Centurion who showed faith by believing Jesus was God – that He had authority to simply command the healing of his servant at home. By stating that he was “not worthy”, the Centurion recognized his own place in the proper order. Jesus above him, and he above his servant (symbolic of our soul). The Centurion is an example of one who sees well with the eye of his soul the things that are invisible (remember God is the Creator of all things visible and invisible). He didn’t need to be there to witness the healing. He believed it would happen. Since the Centurion has such faith, then he is able to recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – the invisible. This is Scriptural Proof that in proper faith we are able to have a relationship with the Saints in the Kingdom of Heaven here and now.
God bless, and have a wonderful Advent –
From your family at All Saints Museum