So…the Queen is dead.
Many mourn, some are mystified, some indeed glad. For all, the end of an era.
Eras come and go. Adjustments have to be made.
Pope Francis remarks in his book, ‘Let Us Dream’ that, “Coronavirus has accelerated a change of era that was already underway”. He continues, “by change of era I mean not just that this is a time of change, but that the categories and assumptions that we used before to navigate our world are no longer effective”.
Looking at the Gospel, particularly this week, it seems that Jesus was sent to us at a time when change was stirring, an era was ending…
The tax collectors and sinners were often joined by the lonely and outcasts. They were eager to hear the word.
The Scribes and Pharisees representing the established order, viewed the word with suspicion and lacked joy in listening to it.
They were not into searching out the lost sheep, let alone picking up a broom to sweep the room. After all, what was a drachma to them?
Somewhere in these parables this week is recognition that there is a better way for all people and that is why his word resonated with the lonely, forgotten, the lost!
It seems that we are in such a time now.
We have inherited the same salvific word that Jesus was talking about on that last journey to Jerusalem. It offers to all a way of living that ennobles all people. It offers a table where all are equal, as the word is proclaimed and the bread blessed, broken and offered…Already some are grumbling, as their ancestors did. But more are hungry. Friends are needed to welcome them. In Gospel parlance we “must welcome sinners and eat with them”.
Resist the temptation to turn hospitality into hostile surveillance. Be eager to proclaim the great mercy of the loving God. Above all, be a person who regularly says, “I will rise and go to my Father”.