“The path to the Kingdom” Reflection for 6th Sunday
The words of today’s Gospel, directs our attention to the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes. That is where Jesus gave guidance to humanity on the journey to the Kingdom of God.
The choice of location where Jesus gives these tips, indicates that the journey of his followers will not be easy. Anyone who has ever climbed a high mountain knows how much effort and sacrifice is necessary to get to the summit. That is why Jesus gives his disciples a sort of map with directions.
For the people of the Old Testament, the Torah was such a map, and in particular the Ten Commandments. Jesus, however, wants to focus the Kingdom journey for his disciples and gives them only the two most important commandments – to love God and to love one’s neighbour.
Today, Jesus explains what it means to love one’s neighbour. He has already experienced some difficult relationships in his own ministry, and therefore he does focus on what is negative, but proposes positive guidelines. Instead of putting the focus on the prevention of negative and sinful acts, He concentrates and offers propositions to develop virtues. He looks to what is positive and constructive.
The path of peace, the path of forgiveness, the way of faithfulness, the way of truth and honesty – It seems that all these paths proposed by Jesus, come together in one place and create a path of mercy. Pope Francis has spoken of people who strive to follow these paths, as “Christians who let God clothe them with goodness and mercy, with Christ, so as to become, like Christ, servants of God and others”.
Standing atop the Mount of Beatitudes today, and observing the landscape at its feet, it becomes clear why it was here, and not anywhere else, that Christ gave his famous sermon. The Words of Jesus and the beautiful view stretching from the mountain can certainly bring to mind the image of Paradise – the homeland of the first people, where everything was good.
Let us pray today, so we have strength to follow the path of Christ, the way that He offers us, so together we can reach His Kingdom, where everything is good.