“I Desire that All be Saved”
Some of the parables of Our Lord can be quite hard for us to stomach, and today’s Gospel could be an example of this. “The Parable of the Wicked Tenants” is an allegory of Our Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection, but it also had meaning for the Jews of the Old Testament. God had established them in the Promised Land, but they continuously rebelled against Him. So He sent the prophets to call them to repentance – Israel rejected those prophets and even put them to death. Finally God sent His own Son, and then He was murdered too.
Like the Israelites, we are also offered the Kingdom of Heaven which we can either accept or reject. God never forces Himself on anyone. He totally respects our freedom. Like the Israelites of old, there are many today who reject God’s prophets – that is the Church, the Scriptures and those who preach God’s word, and the truth that we will all be judged one day and that we need to prepare ourselves for that judgement, otherwise we risk losing our souls. “I tell you the Kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” But Our Lord doesn’t tell us about judgement and Hell to frighten us. He tells us out of love because He desires that all be saved. Our Lord loves us more than we can ever imagine, and yet no one spoke of these realities more than He did. But at the same time He gives us all the grace and mercy necessary to attain Heaven, but we have to choose it and embrace it in this life.
I suppose most people think they want Heaven, but we have to remember Heaven is where God’s will and where God’s principles reign. But there are some who just don’t want this and so God doesn’t impose Heaven on those who do not want what it actually is. If I’m not trying to live a Christ-like life on earth, I’m just not going to fit in to Heaven. So by cultivating virtue now, and by cooperating with His grace, God is transforming us into the type of person we need to be if we’re going to be happy in His Heavenly Kingdom.
Fr. Paul Gillham IC