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Anonymous, via pxhere.com

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Even if we fall and fall badly, our Lord always provides a way back for those willing to take it.

The Pearl of Great Price (detail): Domenico Fetti (c.1589–1623), 1619; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City

Offered the Kingdom and a choice

When we realise the value of the kingdom, then we can give everything which we have to God, and not merely do so grudgingly, but as Christ tells us, ‘joyfully’.

The Last Judgement (detail)

The virtuous will shine like the sun

Our Lord leaves us with more riddles in the parables of today’s gospel. These parables are parables of the kingdom of God; what it is like, and why it is like it is.

Parable of the Sower (September) [detail], Marten van Valckenborch (1535–1612), c.1585; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

My word shall not return to me empty

Some seed fell on rich soil and it produced a hundred-, sixty- and thirty-fold. Where the word finds a receptive heart then the miraculous happens and the Lord of Life bestows his graces.

St Ignatius’ Vision of Christ and the Father at La Storta (Detail), Domenichino (1581–1641), c.1622; Los Angeles County Museum of Art

God so loves the world

Christ wants to reveal the Father to us, wants to let us know him. This is the gift of Faith. It is only by this gift that we can come into that relationship of love which knowing God involves.

Giving of the Keys to S Peter (detail): Pietro Perugino (c.1450–1523), 1481–2; Sistine Chapel

We too have a mission

These two apostles had missions from God. They were prepared through their lives, by the providential working of God in their lives so that when that moment came, when that encounter happened, they were ready to receive the message which Christ had for them. They would let it enter into the heart of their beings, they would let it transform them so that they could fulfil the mission which God had for them. What was true of these great foundations of the Church can be true for us too. God has prepared us to fulfil a mission for him, he wants us to carry his message out into the world in our own particular ways.