MANIFESTING THE KINGDOM

Wednesday, 14th Week in Ordinary Time      

            “The kingdom of God is at hand.”

            Everywhere Jesus goes he talks about the kingdom of God: how one enters the kingdom, where the kingdom of God is, what the kingdom is like, what the kingdom will be like in the last day, how God will take the kingdom away from some and give it to others, and instructions to seek and pray for the kingdom.

            Let me address each of you directly and candidly. Is the kingdom of God made manifest in your life and in the way you live your life? Is it the main thing in your life? Is it seen in your choices and decisions, deeds and actions, attitudes and behaviors, ways and means of doing things? Is it expressed in your words and gestures, in your social media posts and messages? Is it shown in the way you spend your time and energy, in the way you utilize your gifts and talents?

            What are those things in us and around us that hinder the realization of God’s kingdom? It could be: Our unfaithfulness to God and his will, because we are too preoccupied with our own plans. Our lack of commitment to live by the gospel values, because we are living the distorted values of the world. Our reluctance to use our gifts to serve our community, because we are too busy with personal and family concerns. Our indifference towards the poor and the needy, because we refuse to see them as Christ sees them. Our failure to be good stewards of God’s gifts, because we consider his gifts as our private property.

            The kingdom of God is manifested in little things. It is there in every kind remark said to a stranger, in every affirming word given to the discouraged, in every uplifting message extended to somebody feeling down. It is there in every generous deed shared to the needy, in every expression of compassion shown to the poor, in every act of solidarity extended to the oppressed. It is there in every decision to forgive the offender, in every step towards dialogue and reconciliation, in every prayer for healing and restoration. We must always remember this: Every good deed expands God’s kingdom and brings it to fruition and fulfillment.

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