The coming Kingdom
Friday, February 21, 2020
6th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Jas 2:14-24,26
Gospel: Mk 8:34—9:1
Jesus called the people and his disciples and said, “If you want to follow me, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. For if you choose to save your life, you will lose it; and if you lose your life for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel, you will save it.
“What good is it to gain the whole world but destroy yourself? There is nothing you can give to recover your life. I tell you: If anyone is ashamed of me and of my words among this adulterous and sinful people, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the Glory of his Father with the holy angels.” And he went on to say, “Truly I tell you, there are some here who will not die before they see the kingdom of God coming with power.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
“Truly I tell you, there are some here who will not die before they see the kingdom of God coming with power” (Mark 9:1). We find this Gospel verse absurd. The disciples have all died and yet we are still awaiting the coming of the kingdom. What did Jesus really mean when he said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, there are some here who will not die before they see the kingdom of God coming with power”?
To understand this troublesome verse we must read it together with the succeeding verses of the Transfiguration in Mark 9:2-13. At Mt. Tabor, Jesus’ appearance changed and Moses and Elijah were seen conversing with him. To the Jews, the reappearance of Moses and Elijah was a sign of the coming of the kingdom of God. Thus, when Jesus was transfigured and these two great prophets appeared conversing with him, Peter thought that it was already the long awaited coming of God’s kingdom. He even volunteered to construct three tents for Jesus, Moses and Elijah.
The truth is that the Transfiguration was not yet the real thing, but only a preview to the coming of God’s kingdom in glory. Jesus probably had this Transfiguration event in mind when he said, “Truly I tell you, there are some here who will not die before they see the kingdom of God coming with power.” Here he could be referring to the disciples who lived to see at Mt. Tabor the preview of the coming of that kingdom.
We too can have a preview of the coming of the kingdom of God in glory, not at a high mountain like Mt. Tabor but down here as we stand firmly on the ground living in faith, hope and charity. We validate such a life by heeding Jesus’ invitation to follow him. The caveat however is that following him entails carrying the cross! – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., JD, DM, MAPM.
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