View all Gospel Reflections |
The Kingdom of God Is at Hand
Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
“As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words—go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, make your kingdom come in my heart and in the world.
- No-Nonsense Evangelizing: Jesus gave the Apostles some very specific guidelines for their missionary adventures. Don’t take this or that…If the house is worthy, stay…If they don’t listen, leave. It seemed that Jesus was in a hurry. In the Hebrew culture, the ones who were ready would be known as the Anawim, the poor of Yahweh, those who continued to anticipate the coming of the Messiah. These were the ones who had nurtured hope throughout the centuries of conquest, because they sought God’s kingdom beyond the kingdoms of this world. To this day, God is at work in many souls, and Jesus comes to those who have been preparing their hearts.
- The Kingdom of God Is at Hand: In Pope Benedict’s work, Jesus of Nazareth, he explained the notion of the kingdom. The kingdom is at hand in the person of Christ. Those who receive him and his message are welcomed into that kingdom. The kingdom of Christ has a communal dimension as well. All baptized people become part of God’s people. They participate in God’s kingdom through the grace offered by Jesus’s redemptive sacrifice. Finally, the kingdom of God has an eschatological dimension. Its ultimate fulfillment comes about at the end-time when Christ will be all in all and sit on the throne of heaven, as revealed in the book of Revelation.
- “Wish It Peace”: As Christ becomes the center of our lives, we are transformed by his grace. The fruit of transformation in Christ is peace, which the Spirit of the Lord brings. We will know that the kingdom of God is at hand and his reign is being established to the degree that we know peace. Peace is not equated with a problem-free life. Rather, it is a peace born of faith in Jesus’s victory over our fears, worries, and troubles. But it demands a “letting go,” like the Apostles did as they went out to preach. We must let go of false hopes and securities to hold onto the one sure and lasting reality—Jesus Christ and his kingdom.
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, I want to be your missionary disciple and help to establish your kingdom, starting here in my own heart. Help me recognize the false securities I cling to in order to be poor in spirit, and rich in faith and trust in you.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will try to recognize the false securities I cling to and ask Jesus to be in the center of my hopes and desires.
For Further Reflection: Is God in the Center of Your Life? Father Mike Schmitz.
Written by Jennifer Ristine.