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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Ideas from The Retreat Day

Home again with sore feet and a good head full of great stuff from the one-day retreat.

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

Galatians 5:19-23
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
1 Corinthians 6:
The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

The second was that we are all called to be like children of a loving Father.

Matthew 18 

18 At that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who thinkest thou is the greater in the kingdom of heaven?
And Jesus calling unto him a little child, set him in the midst of them,
And said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven.

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....