Friday, November 11, 2011

Dwell With Wisdom

November 10, 2011

Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, pope and doctor of the Church

For God loves nothing so much as the one who dwells with Wisdom. For she is fairer than the sun and surpasses every constellation of the stars. Compared to light, she takes precedence; for that, indeed, night supplants, but wickedness prevails not over Wisdom. Wisdom 7:28-30

"The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, "Look, here it is," or, "There it is." For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you." Luke 17:20-21


Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For yours is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever. Amen.


We pray it (practically) every day. "Your kingdom come. Your will be done." The timing implies -- and this is how Jesus' prayer was handed down to us -- that the Kingdom of God is something beyond our ability to attain it. Yet, when confronted by the Pharisee's, Jesus explains that the Kingdom is already in their presence. So is it here and now or then and there?

Thus, Jesus shifts the emphasis of the Kingdom from an observable coming in the distant future to the ever-present ministry of teaching and preaching and healing that is already underway in ancient Palestine. Not only that, the notes in the New American Bible explain that the work translated as "among" also could be translated as "within."

These two developments -- that the Kingdom is NOW and that it is a part of each of us -- changes out perspective mightily. The Lord's Kingdom comes to us every day in the presence of other people who enter into our lives. They give us the chance to get to work building the Kingdom right here and right now. The Lord also is within us -- in spirit and in sacrament -- so that we are nourished for the construction work we face daily.


How should we behave if the Kingdom is already here…under construction so to speak. It behooves us to pick up a hammer and nail the next few boards in place alongside the master carpenter. What board will you choose. The boards of Faith? The boards of Hope? The boards of Catholic Action?

From the coffee we choose to drink in the morning to the books we pick up to read before bed and everything we do on the mad dash of hours in between, we are tested. We are given the opportunity to build the Kingdom at every turn.

We can choose to do our will or we can think about those words in the prayer. If we are to make this Earth a living Heaven, then our perspective must change. We are showered with the gifts of wealth, security, and abundance. The Lord's gift of Kingdom comes to me even in those things where I am poor, weak and alone. Rising above my faults, despite them, the gifts are eternal and ever present. Therefore, in honor of this gift, my life is before You to do YOUR will, not mine. That is the direction -- outward, not inward -- in which we turn for honor, power and glory.