One of Jesus’ favourite images for the Kingdom of Heaven is of a party. Admittedly he uses the terms ‘banquet’ or ‘wedding feast’ but then these are just fancy words for ‘great party.’ When we look at how Jesus uses the image of a party, we realise that to be a follower of his we need to develop party skills.
Firstly, we need to be able to join in. That is, leave our work and our role behind and be free enough to be with people just as we are.
Secondly, we need to be able to celebrate, to be joyful. Nobody wants to party with someone who brings all their emotional baggage along. At these times, we need to be generous enough to leave our sorrows and preoccupations behind and share joy with others.
Thirdly, we need to look out for others. We need to notice and encourage the shy ones, pass round the food and drink, let the weary get a space to rest.
Fourthly, we don’t have to be the centre of attention. It is not ‘all about me’ but rather ‘about us’.
These skills can be used not only at parties but often when we are with our family, friends or community. As we hone these skills, we will discover that the Kingdom of Heaven truly is in our midst and that we are revealing the face of God to others.
Loving God, you sent your Son Jesus into our world that we may learn how to join in your life of joy and love. Send us your Spirit that we know how to share your joy and love with others. We ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris osb