Two ideas struck me today. The retreat theme was "The Kingdom of God".
The first proves to be an superb clarification on sinners in the Kingdom.
The priest read out from the pulpit these three passages. He noted that priests and the Church fails to teach that sinners must repent and be born anew in the Spirit in order to be in the Church. One must turn away from a sinful lifestyle, from living in sin, in order do be in the Kingdom
To be a child is to totally rely on Divine Providence, trusting in God daily, every minute.
The priest said that the Kingdom is "for sinners" but not "with sinners". What he explained was that those in the Kingdom, in the Church could not stay in lifestyles of sin. The prostitutes and tax-collectors mentioned by Jesus repented and changed, unlike the Pharisees.
It was refreshing to hear a priest remind all that those in the Kingdom are called to holiness and not merely staying in sin. He admitted that this was not a popular subject in the Church nowadays.
to be continued....