The Kingdom of God is Here (Jan. 25, 2015)

In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of God is here, and in order to enjoy it fully, we need to repent. I found myself thinking: “How can I explain the Kingdom of God? What exactly is it?”

For sure, it’s not a place, and yet it is a place. It’s not a place in the sense that I can point to it on a map or globe and say, “There it is.” Yet it is a place where we can chose to live, or choose not to live. The choice is always ours…that’s why Jesus starts off his ministry in Mark’s Gospel with the word “Repent.”

More and more I’m thinking that the Kingdom of God is a matter of one’s attitude towards all of life. It’s my attitude that transforms the workplace, the home, the parish, wherever it is that I am at any given moment.

The First and Second Readings give us some clues about how one’s attitude changes things. Nineveh was absolutely loathed by the Jewish people, and Jonah did everything he could to get out of going. But Yahweh prevailed. He went to the city, preached and in three days time the entire city repented. Was Jonah happy? No…he was terribly upset. He could not see the goodness and sincerity of the Ninevite people. AS far as he was concerned, they would, never change. So who in your life is the beneficiary of that negativity? As long as there is negativity, you can be pretty sure you’ve chosen to not live in the Kingdom.

Paul, in the Second Reading, tells us to hold the important things of life lightly, for they will pass away. So if I am the kind of person who grasps and holds tightly to such things as money, fame, popularity, relationships, power, and who gets really upset when those things are threatened, then I’ve chosen not to live in the Kingdom.

The attitudes proper to a citizen of God’s Kingdom are joy, cooperation, helpfulness, self-sacrifice, sharing, building up, gratitude, a knowledge that bad things will happen but they will pass away, and so on.

Bring the Kingdom: be God’s smile for someone today!

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