The Coming of God’s Kingdom

Luke 17: 20-25
Wis 7:22–8:1 / Ps 119

The kingdom of God is not like something you can observe and say of it: ‘Look, here it is! There it is!’ See, the kingdom of God is among you.
(Luke 17:20-21)

God will transform our state of mind
If we seek His will and wisdom;
Then in our hearts one day we’ll find
The majesty of His kingdom.

Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” Then He said to His disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. Men will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them. For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”

Reflection

Our Lord’s response to the Pharisees’ question seems at first to be incongruous. First, He said, “The kingdom of God is among you,” referring to Himself as already in their midst. (17:21) Then three verses later, He said, “As lightning flashes from one end of the sky to the other, so will it be with the Son of Man.” (17:24) It could be that Jesus was talking about His second coming in the latter portion, when He would suddenly make His appearance like a flash of lightning for all to see. In the first verse, Jesus was presenting himself as the personification of God’s kingdom, now present before them. The kingdom was already in their midst.

The kingdom of God here on earth is not a physical area enclosed by borders. His kingdom is in everyone, just as God Himself is everywhere, pervading everything. His Kingdom is in the hearts of all men who bow to their Heavenly King and offer themselves in service to His rule. When we conform our lives to His will, then His kingdom is “among us.” But when we disobey His precepts and decrees, then we fall away from His kingdom.

Another word for describing God’s kingdom, that we read in today’s first reading, is Wisdom. “She penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity. For she is an aura of the might of God and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty, therefore nothing that is sullied enters into her.” (Wisdom 7:24-25) When we disobey any commandment of God, we fall into sin, and thus ‘sullied’, we can never hope to gain wisdom, or enter the kingdom of God.

The kingdom of God is something we come to be, as a result of our obedience to God’s will. It is the sum of all our prayers, good works, and meditations on the Word of God. We are all part of the kingdom of God. As St. Paul said, we are members of a “building that has the apostles and prophets for its foundations, and Christ Himself for its main cornerstone. As every structure is aligned on Him, all grow into one holy temple in the Lord; and we too, in Him, are being built into a house where God lives in the Spirit” (Eph 2:20-22).

Everytime we receive you in the Holy Eucharist, Lord, we believe that Your kingdom is in our midst. May You always reign in our hearts forever. Amen.

Comments are closed.