We know that one of the primary themes of Jesus’ preaching was the Kingdom of God.
“The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel,” Jesus proclaimed at the very beginning of his ministry. (Mk 1:15) And from then on Jesus used many parables and analogies to describe the Kingdom of God.
And we know what that kingdom is supposed to look like: It is “an eternal and universal kingdom, a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.” (The Roman Missal)
The problem is that the world in which we’re living is so very different than the Kingdom of God. Our world, and our nation, are marred by so much anger and division, violence and war, corruption and dishonesty, depravity and vulgarity. One can justly ask, “where in the world is the Kingdom of God?”
But keep in mind that Jesus came to inaugurate the kingdom, not to complete it. The completion of the kingdom is our mission! And already there are signs of the kingdom all around us.
I think of the faithful who march outside of abortion clinics to proclaim the dignity of human life; I think of the folks who volunteer at homeless shelters, senior citizen centers, food pantries and soup kitchens, and individuals who deliver meals to homebound neighbors. They, all of them, are signs of the kingdom.
And the Kingdom of God is found in domestic settings as well. I think of the husbands and wives who patiently care for a spouse struggling with dementia; of adult children looking after an elderly parent; of parents who, twenty-four-seven, protect their kids with special needs; of parents who pray with tears for their sons and daughters who have abandoned the faith. All of these are examples of generosity, love and compassion; all of them are signs of the kingdom in our midst.
I guess that sometimes we get so caught up in the problems of the world that we lose sight of the goodness that’s near us, every day. Where in the world is the Kingdom of God? For those who can see, the kingdom is in our neighborhoods and churches, in our hearts and homes. And for that, we praise God!
Something to think about: Can you find signs of the Kingdom of God in your own life?