Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
First and foremost, I would like to thank all those who worked so hard last weekend to prepare a beautiful celebration for my Installation as a pastor and all those who came out to celebrate with us. It was such a beautiful day and another vivid reminder of God’s abundant grace.
With my Installation fresh on my mind, this weekend’s gospel resonated with me. As I mentioned, out of the seventeen years I have been a priest, I have been a pastor for 14 of them. This weekend marks the fourth time I have been installed as a pastor of a parish (in the case of my first pastorate, three parishes). For a priest, and even more so for a pastor, the relationship to a parish does have a spousal nature. The question that can be drawn is, whose pastor will I be in eternity?
I recognize the absurdity and silliness of the question, but it reflects an important point. We have a hard time understanding the heavenly reality, indeed, we have a hard time fully understanding God. Too often, we try to apply our human constructs to God and to eternity. Yet, God and the heavenly dwelling are so far beyond what we can conceive that even the greatest theologians have barely scratched the surface. The realities of this world do not hold true to those of eternity. This is the point that Our Lord is making to the Pharisees in today’s gospel and it is a point he sadly must make at times to his own disciples, God’s ways are not our own.
It is good for us to step back from time to time to gain objectivity and to realize that in our lives here on Earth, we catch but glimpses of what lies in store for us in eternity.