Good morning, happy Thursday, and many blessings.
Today’s Gospel (Luke 17:20-25) gives us the discussion between Jesus and the Pharisees on the coming of the Kingdom. The Gospel today and that of the following days deal with the coming of the end of time.
The disciples eagerly await the coming of the Kingdom. For us, the death and resurrection of Jesus mean that the kingdom is already within our reach: ‘Behold, the kingdom of God is among you’. It is already present through the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus.
Wherever we give or receive true love, kindness, gentleness, compassion, generosity, we experience the Kingdom.
The Kingdom of God is among you!’ There will be no external signs to foretell its coming because it is already here. The greatest sign is the person of Jesus himself who at the beginning of his public ministry announced its arrival. It is like a small seed that will grow into a huge tree, but it is already present, and this fills us with hope and assurance: the kingdom is already among us. In a world where the Kingdom seems so far away, even absent sometimes, I ask for the grace to be sensitive to its presence and able to rely on it to sustain my commitment to its growth.
The Kingdom is not here in its fullness yet. This in-between time is difficult, and often mysterious, for the good must endure much suffering and rejection, as Jesus himself foretells. Today I pray for those who are suffering for the sake of the Kingdom
Talking with his disciples Jesus encourages them not to get worked up, or even overly curious, about the end times and the (second) coming of the Son of Man. Instead let them concentrate on the here and now and ponder on Jesus' own teaching: that the Son of Man "must first endure much suffering and be rejected by this generation". This they will soon see acted out in Jerusalem.
This is the concern of every Christian: to hope that God intervenes and favors us so that we can create a better world, and at the same time work and act knowing that everything depends on us. Jesus, you are warning me not to be distracted by alarmists and prophets who claim to have private revelations about the end of the world. It is our world; we must shape and care for it with patience and courage.
The kingdom of God” means the presence, love and goodness of God. How have I experienced God in my life today? Am I allowing God to take me over more and more? It is thus that the kingdom of God comes to flower in my heart.
We often look for the extraordinary to make sure that God is in our current situation. However, God is more often found in tranquility; in serene resistance, serene joy, serene goodness and mercy. Jesus says: "The Kingdom is in your midst!" Have you discovered any signs of the presence of the Kingdom in your life, in the lives of your people or in the life of your community?