Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Kingdom of God Has Come Upon You (March 23)

By Beth DeCristofaro

Thus says the LORD: This is what I commanded my people: Listen to my voice; then I will be your God and you shall be my people. (Jeremiah 7:23)

But he knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? … But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. (Luke 11:17-18, 20)


In today’s Gospel Jesus performs a miracle which astounds the witnesses and prompts his disclosure that “the Kingdom of God has come upon you.”  The Gospels do not focus solely on miracles but we – today as in ancient Palestine – are still astounded and pray for miracles when tragedy strikes or sorrow and hardship surround us.  Jesus’ teachings go beyond the surface of miracles.  He continues and deepens God’s promise to the Chosen People “I will be your God and you shall be my people” but with a twist.

Through Jesus who was literally God’s fingers, toes, voice box, blood, knees, integrity, passion, divinity and covenant, the Kingdom has come upon us.  Not only are we tasked, as Jesus’ disciples were tasked, to continue the building of the Kingdom, but we are challenged to recognize and rejoice in it.

How do we interpret the many miracles around us?  Do we see them? The widow carries on, raising five children after the death of her husband, making the best life possible for them after the end of her marriage dream?  Volunteers care for countless shelter animals, clean up stream beds when trash could damage the ecosystem, visit the sick and dying.  Lay leaders manage RCIA, Alcoholics Anonymous, religious education, mentoring programs, and maintain sacristies and administrative needs of parishes around the country.  Civil servants stand firm to bring justice to their country’s citizens.  Random Cursillistas form spiritual communities that serve and evangelize other random Babe Chicks resulting in new friendships and new resolutions for life in Christ. There are countless more examples of God’s fingers at work in small, unnoticed ways that are miraculous, effecting healing and growth of humanity.  And they build the kingdom.

In this Lenten Journey, take a moment of prayer and silence to recognize and rejoice in the miracles around you.  Thank someone for their efforts and pray for them.  What miracle can you perform today?  Keep the Women’s 149th in your prayers.

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