Jesus announces the Kingdom of God. The fruit of this mystery is the listening to God and conversion.
The kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel (Mark 1:15). And all the crowd gathered about him, and he taught them (Mark 2:13). Jesus sees the boats on the shore and gets into one of them. How naturally Jesus steps into the boat of each and everyone of us! When you seek to draw close to our Lord, remember that he is always very close to you, that he is in you: regnum Dei intra vos est (Luke 17:21). The kingdom of God is within you. You will find him in your heart. Christ should reign first and foremost in our soul. But in order for him to reign in me, I need his abundant grace. Only in that way can my every heartbeat and breath, my least intense look, my most ordinary word, my most basic feeling be transformed into a hosanna to Christ my King.
When Christ began to preach on earth he did not put forward a political program. He said: “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand (Matthew 3:2; 4:17).” He commissioned his disciples to proclaim this good news and he taught them to pray for the coming of the kingdom.
Anyone who understands the kingdom Christ proposes, realizes that it is worth staking everything to obtain it. Christ's kingdom is not just a figure of speech. Christ is alive; he lives as a man, with the same body he took when he became man, when he rose after his death, the glorified body which subsists in the person of the Word together with his human heart. Christ, true God and true man, lives and reigns. He is the Lord of the universe. Everything that lives is kept in existence only through him.
In the middle of his daily work, when he has to overcome his selfishness, when he enjoys the cheerful friendship of other people, a Christian should rediscover God. Through Christ and in the Holy Spirit, a Christian has access to the intimacy of God the Father, and he spends his life looking for the Kingdom which is not of this world, but which is initiated and prepared in this world.
As long as we are awaiting the Lord's return, when he will come to take full possession of his kingdom, we cannot afford to relax. Spreading the kingdom of God isn't only an official task of those members of the Church who represent Christ because they have received sacred powers from him.
Since our first conscious decision really to follow the teaching of Christ, we have no doubt made good progress along the way of faithfulness to his word. And yet isn't it true that there is still much to be done? Isn't it true, particularly, that there is still so much pride in us? We need, most probably, to change again, to be more loyal and humble, so that we become less selfish and let Christ grow in us, for “He must become more and more, I must become less and less (John 3:30).”
Am I advancing in my faithfulness to Christ, in my desire for holiness, in a generous apostolate in my daily life, in my ordinary work among my colleagues? Each one of us, silently, should answer these questions, and he will see that he needs to change again if Christ is to live in him, if Jesus' image is to be reflected clearly in his behavior. - St. Josemaría Escriva, in Christ is Passing By.
Prayer intention: for the bishops
Father, we entrust to Your care the bishops and archbishops of Your Church worldwide. Grant that they receive the Holy Spirit and be enlightened, so that they may take concrete, positive decisions for justice and reparation. May they also implement means so that those crimes may never happen again, be hidden again.
Father, grant them the grace to be the Pastors your Church needs. May they guide us toward You and give to the Church the missionary impulse she currently needs.
With Mary and Saint Michael Archangel, we ask You in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Let us pray:
One Our Father.
Ten Hail Mary.
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Picture: The Sermon on the Mount, by Carl Bloch.
Take a moment to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart (cf Luke 2,19)
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Col 4:6