The values of the Kingdom of God

I am sure you would have heard these words, as I have many times, ‘You don’t have to go to church to be good’. True, I say, but God is calling you not only to be good but rather to embrace the values of the kingdom of God, which include the principles of justice, compassion, the sharing of resources, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Today’s Gospel emphasises this point.

Sure, Lord, I am happy to love my enemies if I don’t have to talk to or meet them. Lord, that offering the other cheek really disappoints me. How could you say that? Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to be picky, but are you serious or just pulling my leg? I think we should run, or avoid such situations. Isn’t that what the authorities say to do?

While we’re having this chat, why should I give away my clothes? They are mine. I do give clothes away and often place them in the charity bin. I don’t need them and often they are virtually rags. I’m happy to give a homeless person some of my small change, normally less than a cup of coffee costs, but my clothes and some of my time to hear about their challenges and difficulties, is too much. If I did more I would never get through my day, and my own family would suffer.

Doesn’t charity begin at home? I would like to help the children who are dying of starvation, but it’s not my fault. I do support the Christmas Bowl appeal once a year. Yes, Lord, I think love is important. I love my children, partner, family and friends – but there is a limit. I believe you will understand me Lord, even though I know you gave all for everyone, not just me.