The Kingdom of God Is among You

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Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church


 Luke 17:20-25

Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God was to come, he gave them this answer, “The coming of the Kingdom of God does not admit of observation and there will be no one to say, ‘Look, it is here! Look, it is there!’ For look, the Kingdom of God is among you.”  He said to the disciples, “A time will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man and will not see it. They will say to you, ‘Look, it is there!’ or, ‘Look, it is here!’ Make no move; do not set off in pursuit; for as the lightning flashing from one part of Heaven lights up the other, so will be the Son of Man when his day comes. But first he is destined to suffer grievously and be rejected by this generation.”



Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, increase my faith and may your Kingdom come in my heart and in the world.


Encountering Christ:


  1. Already, but Not Yet: Jesus told the Pharisees that the Kingdom of God cannot be seen. And yet, to his disciples, he said that the Son of Man’s coming will be like a flash of lightning. It will be obvious. This month’s Gospel readings combine an eschatological tone of the second coming of Jesus with an “incarnational” tone of God’s presence that dwells in our midst. Rather than being opposed to one another, they go hand in hand in the famous axiom, “Already, but not yet.” This means that the Kingdom of God is present to us in an intimate way, but unseen by human eyes. It requires faith. It is present in mystery until the coming of the Lord Jesus in his glory, when all will be revealed and the veil of faith will fade away.
  2. A Time of Hope: The liturgical season, while called “ordinary time,” is far from ordinary. If we enter into the mystery that it celebrates and proclaims, we enter into its interior dynamic of hope. Hope is the certainty of a future reality that will be achieved or attained. In the Christian faith, hope ushers in that which we await. Therefore, as we hope for the coming of the Kingdom of God in its fullness, we are also living it, in mystery, in the present. The liturgy inserts us, so to speak, into this dynamic reality.
  3. Life-Changing: Jesus warns us not to allow distractions to divert us from what our hearts ultimately long for. He told the disciples, “A time will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man and will not see it. They will say to you, ‘Look, it is there!’ or, ‘Look, it is here!’ Make no move; do not set off in pursuit.” True hope requires patience and discernment about where the desires of our heart tend to pull us. We need not look for what is flashy and novel. We have the Lord in our midst in mystery. The simplicity and ordinary daily Mass contains life-changing grace in its Gospel content. We come to celebrate and be transformed, not informed. Pope Benedict expressed this in his encyclical Spe Salvi: “The Christian message [is] not only “informative” but “performative.” That means: the Gospel is not merely a communication of things that can be known—it is one that makes things happen and is life-changing. The dark door of time, of the future, has been thrown open. The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of a new life” (Spe Salvi 2).


Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, increase my faith to believe that you are truly present in mystery, ready to communicate your saving grace in a special way through your word and Eucharist in the Holy Mass. Increase my hope, that I will live in anticipation and certainty of your glorious reign to come, when all tears will be wiped away and your great love will be fully revealed.


Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will try to renew my encounter with the Gospels and/or the holy Mass.


For Further Reflection: Kingdom Come//RC Music Collective.

Jennifer Ristine is a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi dedicated to spiritual and faith formation through teaching, conferences, writing, and spiritual direction. While serving in Ancient Magdala she wrote Mary Magdalene: Insights from Ancient Magdala and Nine Days with Mary Magdalene.”

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