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. (Luke 17:20-25)
Today, Jesus is telling us the same thing he told the Pharisees in the Gospel reading: God’s reign is already here! He gently reminds us that we already live within it. Whether in moments of stillness or phases of change, Christ “lights up the sky from one side to the other,” assuring us that the Kingdom of God has no end, and through the Incarnation, we gladly share in it today.
So why are we waiting for Jesus to show up? He’s already here! 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 Spirit of Jesus.
Instead of watching for Jesus’ return to Earth, we’re supposed to be finding him right now in the people of our Christian community wherever we can find them, and we are called to be Jesus with them, serving as a united Body of Christ to stand up against evil and minister to others whenever they are afflicted by evil.
We are to treat everyone as if we are meeting Jesus himself. Saint Francis of Assisi knew this, so he genuflected at the feet of each person he encountered. Does that seem too drastic? Well, we could at least smile.
The reign of God comes to us every day through every person we meet. If we bring Jesus into the encounter, the occasion becomes sanctified, holy.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, I invite You, today, to come reign in my heart. I give You complete control of my life. You are my Lord and my King. I love You and want to live in accord with Your perfect and holy will. Jesus, I trust in You. Amen.
How do we enter the Kingdom of God? We enter the same way our King enters – through the door of suffering and perseverance. “First he must suffer greatly and be rejected.” Belief is not just a one-time acceptance. Faith must be lived throughout the great and little trials we encounter in life. In this way, we make faith and the kingdom more our own. We need to remember that in the end, it is the kingdom — and the King himself — who comes to us, like lighting across the sky.