Called to the feast

What will happen to us after we die? What will heaven be like? Jesus tells his disciples that heaven will be a great feast – a celebration in the kingdom of God that will last forever. And when the Lord is asked, ‘Will there be only a few saved?’ his answer is ‘no.’ Everyone is invited to God’s feast. People from east and west, from north and south; people from all the strange places named by the prophet Isaiah in the First Reading, Tarshish, Mosech and Javan, will all take their places in the kingdom of God.

But Jesus tells the disciples to enter by a ‘narrow door.’ We have to choose to accept the Lord’s invitation. Jesus calls his disciples to be converted – to give their hearts to him. His words came as a warning to those who believed that they were already righteous, guaranteed a place at the top table in God’s kingdom. Jesus warns those ‘righteous’ people that they, too, need to be converted. The second reading reminds us that a father disciplines his children, to teach them the right way to live. We are all sons and daughters of God, and we are all invited to the feast, but we can never take our place for granted. Nor do we decide who else is invited. Many who are now last will be first in the kingdom, Jesus tells his disciples. We all depend on God’s mercy for our place at the feast.

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