Thursday, November 12, 2015

Nov. 12, 2015 Thursday: St. Josaphat

Nov. 12, 2015 Thursday: St. Josaphat

The Coming of the Kingdom of God

I read this story about a little girl who was standing with her grandfather by an old-fashioned open well. They had just lowered a bucket and had drawn some water to drink. She asked her grandfather: “Lolo, where does God live?” the old man picked up the little girl and held her over the open well. “Look down the water,” he said, “and tell me what you see.” ‘I see myself,” said the little girl. ‘That’s where God lives,” said the old man, “He lives in you.”

In today’s gospel, the Pharisees asked Jesus about, when the Kingdom of God would come. Jesus surprised them with the answer that the Kingdom of God cannot be observed. It’s not “here” or “there,” but ‘the Kingdom of God is among you,’ that is, within our hearts. God’s kingdom has already appeared in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the world. He speaks also of the coming of God’s kingdom as both a present event and an event which would be manifested at the end of time or is already here but not because its completion will happen at the end time.

And so the Kingdom of God begins from within and transforms our hearts to be like God and a people who know the power of His love, mercy and forgiveness. The Lord Jesus is present in His word, in His Body the Church and in the “Breaking of the Bread,’ the Holy Eucharist. Jesus reveals Himself in many countless ways to those who seek Him with eyes of faith. When we read the Word of God in the Bible Jesus speaks to us and reveals to us the mind and heart of the Father. When we approach the Table of the Lord, Jesus offers Himself as spiritual food which produces the very life of God within us (‘I am the bread of life,’ John 6:35).

At the end in addition to the above truth, the article, Experiencing God, says something about what God does to us. It says that:

God is always at work around us.
God pursues a continuing love relationship with us, that is, real and personal.
God invites us to become involved with Him in His work.
God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes and His ways.
God’s invitation for us to work with Him always leads us to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.
We must make major adjustments in our life to join God in what He is doing.
We come to know God by experience as we obey Him and as He accomplishes His work through us.

-Fr. Joseph Benitez

Lord, sometimes the tasks of the day can feel a bit overwhelming. We can experience a fatigue that builds as the day moves forward. Maybe we need to step out of the daily grind. Unless we give ourselves permission to pause, to relax, to embrace your Spirit in the details of our day, we will be worn down.

We need to claim the reality that the Kingdom of God is among us. Suddenly that which seems so serious is put into perspective; that which evokes fear within us is calmed, and the gratitude that once delighted us is renewed. Lord, with great anticipation we move through this day, confident that your Kingdom will be experienced as we live for you and for those whose lives press against our own.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team