© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved
Is this reading about heaven and hell,
inclusion and exclusion,
hope and despair,
streets of gold and eternal fires,
or is it about something more
characteristic of the nature
of a loving God?
I think it is about the latter…
I believe it is about our choosing
between being comforted,
or standing on our own;
between the God of gentle courage
or the craziness of
the many voices around and within us,
filling us with a despondent noise of
If we can say that hell is where God is not,
then we can say that the path to hell
lies in our choices to walk on our own
to the exclusion of various
and subtle ways
God manages to send grace our way.
The voice of the stranger,
in the metaphor of this scripture,
is the voice that offers no grace,
the voice that encourages us
to forget courage,
and to close our hearts
to the audaciousness of Easter.
And, of course then,
the question is this,
to which voice will we listen?