“Living eagerly and enthusiastically to nurture and promote the Kingdom of God!”
(Based on Philem 1:7-20 and Lk 17:20-25 – Thursday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)
A simple story is told of a little girl who accompanied her grandfather to fetch water from the well.
After having drawn water, as the bucket was lowered and kept on the ground, the little girl asked her grandfather: “Grandpa, where does God live?”
The old man, lifted up the girl, and held her over the open well and asked: “What do you see?”
The excited girl, looked deep into the well and seeing her reflection exclaimed: “I see myself”
“That’s where God lives,” said the wise grandfather “God lives in you!”
Are we aware that each of one of us is an abode of the “Presence of the Lord?”
Do we mend our lives accordingly…
… and seek to live holier and saintly lives?
Our Christian lives must be lived eagerly and enthusiastically to nurture and promote the Kingdom of God…
… and live as citizens, worthy of a King Who is all-holy and all-honest!
Are we ready to collaborate with Jesus, to infuse a greater spirit of the Kingdom of God in this world…
… and to promote the reach and spread of the Kingdom of God?
The Gospel of the Day is a teaching on the Kingdom of God.
The Pharisees ask “when” the kingdom will come (Lk 17:20)
Jesus however explains “how” the Kingdom will come (17:22-35)
Jesus does not give an answer to the question of the Pharisees.
Rather, He makes to realize what should be the proper question.
It’s the style and technique of the Lord to get right the priorities and focus in life!
The people searched for Jesus after the miracle of the multiplication of loaves…
Jesus sets right their intentions by speaking of the need to hunger for the bread of life (Jn 6)
The disciples of John came to clarify whether Jesus was indeed the Messiah to come…
Jesus sets right their focus by turning their attention to all His signs and deeds (Lk 7:19ff)
The two disciples, James and John, sought for privileged places in Jesus’ future reign…
Jesus sets right their priorities by exhorting them to grow rather in humility and service (Mk 10: 35-45)
Nicodemus, in his encounter with Jesus, remained on peripheral questions and doubts…
Jesus sets right his doubts by calling his attention on living a life in the Spirit and being born anew spiritually (Jn 3: 1-21)
The Lord loves to challenge our doubts, theories and even convictions…
… to be in harmony with the priorities of the Kingdom.
Am I willing to allow the Lord to work in me to change some of my thinking patterns, that would be in accord to His Will?
Am I flexible to let the Lord to mould and shape my lifestyle and thus be in tune with the focus of His Kingdom?
The “Kingdom of God” is an oft-repeated phrase in the New Testament and especially in the Gospels.
What is the Kingdom of God?
A kingdom normally brings to picture a geographical territory, with its clear-cut boundaries and its rulers and citizens.
The Kingdom of God, is however, quite different!
The Kingdom of God is not a geographical dominion like worldly kingdoms!
The Kingdom of God is a spiritual reality where God’s Will is done.
It is a person; it is He – Jesus!
“Jesus leads people to realize the overwhelming fact that in Him, God is present among them and that He is God’s presence…” (from the book, “Jesus of Nazareth – Part I” by Pope Benedict XVI)
The Pharisees who asked Jesus on “when” the Kingdom would come, were probably expecting an external sort of a Kingdom.
They probably expected a Kingdom which would overturn and overthrow the Roman Government.
But Jesus clarifies the nature of this Kingdom…
He speaks of a Kingdom which is much more internal & spiritual, and whose impact would be felt and experienced in the external world.
One experiences the Kingdom of Heaven first in one’s inner life…
… and this is manifested in one’s external lifestyles…
The Samaritan Woman experienced the power of the Kingdom of God within herself, when she spoke to Jesus, the fountain of life…
And this experience of the Kingdom led her to proclaim the name of Jesus to all her villagers & bring many to the saving fold of the Lord.
The Disciples experienced the power of the Kingdom of God within them, when the Holy Spirit descended on them…
And this experience of the Kingdom was manifested in their bold and powerful witnessing life!
St Paul experienced the force of the Kingdom of God within him, when he encountered the Risen Lord on the way to Damascus…
And this experience of the Kingdom was displayed by him through his passionate life of preaching and missionary works.
In the Prayer, the Our Father, we pray:
“Thy Kingdom Come,
Thy Will be done…”
The Kingdom of God is, where the Will of God is fulfilled.
The question arises before us: Is the Kingdom of God here?
… or is the Kingdom yet to come?
This is where we speak of the concept of “Already and not yet”
The Kingdom of God is already here, but not yet!
The Kingdom of God already reigns now, but not yet, in its fullness!
As St Paul says in 1 Cor 13: 12, “At present, we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present, I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known”.
Do I experience the Kingdom of God in my life?
The Kingdom of God is not a matter of food and drink, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17)
I need to experience the joy and the peace of the Lord in my life…
I need to place the priorities of God over all else in my life…
That’s the Kingdom of God.
That’s the Reign of God.
We are invited today “to radiate heaven on our faces!”
May our Christian lives be lived eagerly and enthusiastically to nurture and promote the Kingdom of God…
… and thus live as citizens, worthy of a King Who is all-holy and all-honest!
Looking into the “wells of our lives and of others,” let us see the Presence of the Lord…
… and thus may we become a “Kingdom People!”
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CONVERSION OF THE BAPTIZED
Jesus calls to conversion.
This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the kingdom: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.”
In the Church’s preaching this call is addressed first to those who do not yet know Christ and his Gospel.
Also, Baptism is the principal place for the first and fundamental conversion.
It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life. (CCC #1427)