11 Aug 2015
Memorial of St Clare of Assisi
The threshold of the Kingdom is here. The Israelites looked out and, there on the horizon, they saw the Promised Land just over the Jordan. They could see it. And the disciples were right there, looking into the eyes of the Son of God; talking with the Door of the Kingdom himself. And here we are, at the altar of God, hearing the words of Sacred Scripture, consuming God himself. The threshold of the Kingdom is here; it’s so close.
But the last thing we want to do is reach out and try to grab it. Instead, God simply asks us to trust. He puts a little child in front of us and says, “Here, if you can trust me and depend on me the way this child trusts and depends on its parents, you will do well.” And that’s similar to what God told the Israelites. Moses put Joshua up in front of them all and said in so many words: “If you can trust Joshua to lead you, you’ll make it into the Promised Land.”
If we really want to enter the life of God, it takes trust. It’s both simple and not-so-simple because, as we all know, we’re more prone to follow the route of pride or independence. Of course, we don’t usually mean to; it just happens. Somehow, when we grow up, we lose our tendency to trust and really depend on others. But God calls us back to our childhood is that respect. He says, “Trust me.”
And in that God really asks us to assume a certain amount of spiritual poverty. Some of the most deeply joyful people I’ve met are monks, nuns, sisters and brothers. Like St Clare, they embrace a life in which they have to depend on others and God; they must be like children and trust God’s ways. And in that spirit of trust and poverty, they experience in a deep way the freedom of God, the freedom of knowing that with God things will be well in the end.
Now, each day we have challenges to face. And with that we also have a choice: to entrust our situation to God, or to try and go it alone without him. When we’re not sure what to do about this or that, we’re on the threshold of the Kingdom. When we come to Mass to be consumed by the Word of God, we’re on the threshold of the Kingdom.
No matter what we’re doing, we’re always on the threshold of the Kingdom; we’re almost there. But the key to get over that threshold is in the hands of a child. Luckily for us, each of us is a child of God. We’re on the threshold of the Kingdom, and we have the key to get in. All we have to do is use it. All we have to do is trust our God.