There is something I don't understand about what the gospel reading; Jesus said that the tax collectors and prostitutes were entering the kingdom of God before you. Is Jesus referring to Heaven when he said that? If I understand correctly, the gates of Heaven were not opened until after Jesus died on the cross. So, if I am correct in that particular matter, how is it that the tax collectors and prostitutes managed to enter the kingdom of God with the gates still "closed"?
I liked the Message, almost like you were speaking directly to me, I knew the Bad Apples, and I saw first hand, the scandals. The Catholic church locally for me was a Sad situation. I chose to walk away, (Ran actually) I spend my time praying in an empty church as often as I can, (I can be heard wherever I am) Camping, or a Wal Mart Parking lot. For me? Its over for the Catholic Church, Too many bad Memories and bad situations, You Father? You have a chance now to Change things, and to breath new life back into a Dying Church!This Homily was a good start! (well? You have had a few others as well too.)As I mentioned in a Previous comment?You are a Young, good looking man, The temptations will be great! You are in a Position that requires you to be there for many who are hurting,lost, and are lonely,Your position will open you and others you help, up to many temptations...I have seen others fall,I will follow Your Blog, and I'll be Praying quietly for you, and the hope You stand firm, and become a real leader for the Church, There will be Trials, and Temptations, and times when you feel you have lost. But hang in there !!I have seen others fall, I'd HATE to see You go down as well. You have Fire and Passion. You have the abilities, I believe, to rebuild, where others have torn down. You will be in my Prayers.
The "Kingdom of God" is a term that refers to two things. The first is the one everybody is familiar with - Heaven.A second reference is the sense in which we can participate in the "Kingdom of God" now, here on earth.This is what I always try to teach through preaching and through my life because it changed me and I believe is the key misunderstanding that many people walk around with today. The misunderstanding many have (I had it too) is this - doing the right thing doesn't JUST lead to some future pay day where I finally get to Heaven, it also leads to Heaven on earth, so to speak, in the sense that I experience the best God has to offer when I do the right thing. Sin = PAIN every time, while doing the good in any situation brings me to happiness now, and so in that sense, the conversion that the prostitutes and tax collectors were undergoing was giving them access to a literal foretaste of Heaven.The Kingdom of God is not just "later on after I die" it is also now. The famous phrase with regards to all of this is the sense that the Kingdom of God is the "already and the not yet" - it is both!