The Kingdom of God
Today as we celebrate the feast of Jesus Christ as our Victorious King, let us reflect on His Kingdom and its significance for our lives. The Kingdom of God is His rule over us, announced in the Gospels and present in the Eucharist. We can experience it in part now and we will experience it fully in Heaven. His Kingdom is mysteriously present in the Church, and it will come in its fullness at the end of time. How can we be faithful members of God’s Kingdom throughout our earthly journey and thus for all eternity?
God’s Kingdom is present where there is truth, justice, goodness, and genuine love for God and others. Imagine what an amazing world this would be if everyone were free from sin and lived with God as the center of their lives. However, we can never make the Kingdom of God a reality in the world unless first, it is a reality in our own lives. For as Jesus revealed in the Gospel: “The Kingdom of God is within you”.
We can bring about the Kingdom of God within us by frequent reception of the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Praying or communicating with God dwelling within our souls, and giving God “prime time” each day is also of the utmost importance. Our Merciful God asks that we do our best to follow the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes, and to practice the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. As the Season of Advent quickly approaches, let us resolve to respond to the needs of the poor and the lonely in our midst, through prayer and the selfless sharing of our time, treasure and talent.
The Kingdom of God is based on love and forgiveness. For us to find it within our souls, we must first love and forgive ourselves and then reach out in love and forgiveness of others. In the Second Reading, Saint John tells us that Christians who truly follow the Lord are a “kingdom of priests”. It is our duty to help the Lord build up His Kingdom in this world. In order to do this, we must renounce the worthless things the world offers, forget our pride, become docile and obedient to God, and serve the true King, who is Jesus Christ.
When Christ returns as King, He will do so in majesty and as our judge. He will reward those who followed Him faithfully. Those who have ignored or denied Him, He will also deny before the Father (Mt. 10:33). Jesus has promised that His Kingdom will be triumphant. This is our hope, and it is what we, and the Church celebrate on this great feast.
Long live Christ the King!
Sr. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, IHM