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Thy Kingdom Come!
Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr
Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus said in reply, “The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the kingdom of God is among you.” Then he said to his disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. There will be those who will say to you, ‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’ Do not go off, do not run in pursuit. For just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”
Opening Prayer: Holy Spirit, prepare my heart so that the kingdom of God can grow in me.
- A Cornerstone for Evangelization. The volatile character of divine mystery–the coming of the Kingdom of God–can not be observed. The kingdom of God is not merely an ideal version of the kingdom of man. As Jesus warned, “There will be those who will say to you, ‘Look, there he is,’” but the kingdom of God cannot be measured or quantified. The kingdom of God is the manifestation of God in the world and, therefore, very mysterious.
- Kingdom among Us: Jesus has come to proclaim his kingdom, and he has invited us to enter it. By looking at the “gates” that lead into it, we can fathom how different it is from a kingdom of man: The “main gate” is baptism, which means to die with Christ in order to be resurrected with him. The “small doors” in our everyday life are seemingly insignificant deeds such as feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, or bearing patiently those who wrong us—to name just three out of many works of mercy. The “backdoor” through which we can re-enter the kingdom after getting ourselves lost is the sacrament of reconciliation.
- Changed Hearts: If you want to marvel at the beauty of Christ’s kingdom, contemplate the hearts of his faithful servants. The saints–and really each person in the state of grace–are the amazing citizens of his glorious kingdom. And saints aren’t just those for whom statutes have been made. Some saints live “among us.” They make society better, but they are not the products of society. They are the fruit of God’s grace; they are the inhabitants of his kingdom here on earth.
Conversing with Christ: My Lord, I want to belong to your kingdom. Please guide me through its sacramental gates of grace. The kingdom is my true fatherland, in which I will thrive and become the best version of myself. Jesus, you are the true king who will lead me to the deepest happiness. “Thy Kingdom Come!”
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will pray the quick prayer “Thy Kingdom Come!” consciously as an invitation for Christ to rule my heart.
For Further Reflection: “It is always God who makes his kingdom grow. That is why we fervently pray ‘Thy Kingdom Come.’ It is he who makes it grow. Man is his humble collaborator, who contemplates and rejoices in divine creative action and waits patiently for its fruits” (Pope Francis, Angelus address on June 14, 2015: Complete address).
Written by Fr. Gabriel von Wendt, LC.