The kingdom of God
July 12, 2018
Thursday, 14th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Hos 11: 1-4
Gospel: Mt 10:7–15
Jesus said to his disciples, “Go and proclaim this message: The kingdom of heaven is near. Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. You received this as a gift, so give it as a gift. Do not carry any gold, silver or copper in your purses. Do not carry a traveler’s bag, or an extra shirt, or sandals, or walking stick: workers deserve their living.
“When you come to a town or a village, look for a worthy person and stay there until you leave. “As you enter the house, wish it peace. If the people in the house deserve it, your peace will be on them; if they do not deserve it, your blessing will come back to you.
“And if you are not welcomed and your words are not listened to, leave that house or that town and shake the dust off your feet. I assure you, it will go easier for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than it will for the people of that town.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
The task of bringing the kingdom closer to the people was at the core of Jesus’ mission. Jesus did it by giving people a foretaste of salvation. He did so by freeing them from possession by evil spirits, healing the sick, and welcoming outcasts (Mt. 8:5-13). Because he did these by the power of God, he was effectively bringing closer to the people the reign of God (Mt. 12:28).
The ministry of Jesus inaugurated God’s kingdom (Mt. 12:28). The fullness of it, however, was yet to come. Up to our time the stage of the kingdom’s realization is on status quo. Theologians use the term ‘the now and the not yet’: ‘now’ because the kingdom of God is already experienced in the present; ‘not yet’ because its consummation is yet to come. As to its being a present reality (the ‘now’), it reveals God as a saving God through Jesus’ healing ministry continued today by the Church. As to its being a future reality (the ‘not yet’) it promises fullness when all shall have exercised personal conversion leading to social transformation in response to Jesus’ call to repentance.
While enjoying, the kingdom as the “now”, it is incumbent upon us to facilitate it’s “not yet” dimension. If we heal broken relationships, rid our social and economic structures of the evils of corruption and endeavor to uplift the quality of life of the poor, we heighten peoples’ desire to hasten the perfection of the kingdom. Hopefully this will jolt them into concerted action to hasten the coming of the kingdom. This way, Jesus’ mission becomes our mission too. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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