On sending forth his disciples, Jesus instructed them to proclaim, “The Kingdom of God is at hand.” Proclaiming the Kingdom was the central focus of Jesus’ life and ministry. He was the new Adam, and the Kingdom he announced was the restoration of the unity of the Father with all of his creation. This was realized first in the person of Jesus himself, who was both a human person and thus part of creation. But he was also the Son of God and, therefore, divine. The Kingdom was already-and-not-yet. It existed already in the person of Jesus but not yet in creation itself. Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom in both word and actions.
His many parables explain the Kingdom. “The Kingdom of God is like….”
More profoundly, he healed the sick, cast out demons, fed the thousands who had come out to hear him, raised the dead, and ate with the outcasts. He preached that anyone who fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, clothed the naked, visited those in prison, and cared for the least of his sisters and brothers, did so to Jesus himself. This Kingdom that he proclaimed turned everything upside down. Those in need were his focus.
Each time we gather for the Eucharist, we hear the words that his body was broken and his blood was poured out. Jesus tells us that we are to do this in memory of him. We are to be broken and poured out in the service of those most in need of care, love, companionship, support, and advocacy. The Kingdom is realized in and through us as the poor, the refugees, the homeless and orphans, the victims and perpetrators of violence, the hopeless, the addicted, the mentally challenged, and those who feel unloved are loved and cared for. In our service to them, the Kingdom is proclaimed and realized.
Let Us Pray:
Jesus, at every Mass, we pray that your Kingdom will come. This Kingdom is now in our hands. Give us an abundance of your grace to be your voice, ears, hands, and feet to help realize this Kingdom of love and service in our own time and place. Amen.
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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