Thursday, November 10, 2016

If the kingdom of God is not first, it doesn't matter what's second.

The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity by contributing to the establishment of the kingdom of God, which can only be done by the recognition and profession of the truth by every man. -   Leo Tolstoy: (1828 –1910: was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time.)

Gospel Text: (LK 17:20-25)
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.”

Many people are looking for signs that the Second Coming of Christ is going to happen soon. We want evil-doers to get punished and removed from the world and from our lives and even from our thoughts. We want Satan's butt to get kicked the hell off of Earth.

Today, Jesus is telling us the same thing he told the Pharisees in the Gospel reading: God's reign is already here!

The Catholic Church teaches that the "end times" were initiated in the resurrection of Jesus and began when the Holy Spirit descended upon the earth and came to live in all believers. It's an era of mercy, forgiveness and love, an era in which we continue the mission of Christ, overcoming evil by letting Christ work through us with our own holiness. We are the Body of Christ on Earth and we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to do what Jesus wants to do, extending his hands and voice and activity through our own.

We need to live as if his Second Coming is going to happen tomorrow, but instead of standing at the window watching for signs that Jesus is going to soon rescue the world from evil, we are supposed to go out and do the rescuing - in the name of Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

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