The Announcement of the Kingdom
by Fr. Peter deSousa
I spent two years in a Parish in Brooklyn, some 35 years ago, while I was studying in New York. They were a really vibrant community of Catholics. The Parishioners gave me a banner, when they bade me farewell, on which was written: "We will meet again in the Kingdom". Were they referring to Heaven?
The Kingdom however is not only a future reality, when we die and see God face to face. With Jesus, the Kingdom of God has already entered into our world. It is right here in our midst. Where there is love, justice, peace, caring, sharing, bearing one another's burdens, we can experience the reign of God who is Love. Jesus uses all sorts of people to usher in this kingdom. Many people of other faiths who believe in God and are sincere in serving others with love and in truth, are also instruments of Jesus in building his kingdom.
But we who know him and experience his love and have been anointed with his Spirit, have no excuse not to be involved in building the Kingdom everyday. All of us have some gifts and many opportunities to build this kingdom everyday. Many of us spend so much time and energy and make sacrifices to build our own little kingdoms on earth. But when we die, we cannot take them with us. But this kingdom will last forever. What we do to build this kingdom will be repaid a hundredfold to us in this life and we will also have the fullness in the next life. (Mt 25:34)
The citizens of the Kingdom are the poor, the oppressed, the marginalized, the little ones, the despised, the powerless and the weak. God has a special place in his heart for these deprived children and is always waiting with outstretched arms to embrace them. He needs our arms and welcoming voice today to bring a smile to their lips and a song to their hearts. In giving we receive, in loving we are loved, in comforting we are comforted. That is the paradox of the Gospel. Jesus announced the Kingdom, but the eyes of the powerful, the wealthy, the influential and the successful are closed to this reality. We tend to depend too much on our own resources and forget that God who gave us gifts can also take them away, at any time.
So, if we are wise and prudent, it is never too late to begin to invest in the Kingdom of God. All around us there are people who are crying out for solace and relief, for a small place in the sun. Many of us have too much of the good things of this world and waste so much. We cannot take any of this with us when we die. All we can take to the grave is what we give away in love to the least of Jesus' brothers and sisters, freely, joyfully and generously.
Let us re-evaluate our priorities and revamp our value system right now. Repent and believe, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!! Repent means to turn away from self-worship and turn to God to be embraced as his precious children.
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