Gospel: Lk 17:20-25
The Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God was to come. He answered, “The kingdom of God is not like something you can observe, and say of it, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘See, there it is!’ for the kingdom of God is within you.”
And Jesus said to his disciples, “The time is at hand, when you will long to see one of the glorious days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. Then people will tell you, ‘Look there! Look here!’ Do not go with them, do not follow them. As lightning flashes from one end of the sky to the other, so will it be with the Son of Man; but first he must suffer many things, and be rejected by this generation.
Who does not like fireworks? It is always fascinating to see the rockets, those swift shafts of light shooting through the dark sky, suddenly exploding into a multi-colored ball of gigantic sparks.
Well, it seems that many Christians would like Christianity to be as full of surprises and as entertaining as a fireworks show. They would want flashy things to happen, so that the rest of the world would be alerted to the fact that things are moving on the Christian scene!
Yet, nothing much seems to happen, at least nothing that can create headlines in the newspapers. Why not, they ask in dismay.
The answer to these questions is given in today’s gospel reading. For at the time of Jesus some Pharisees were also on the lookout for the Kingdom of God and they expected some kind of spiritual fireworks. But Jesus tells them that there is nothing spectacular about the Kingdom of God, that it is already among them (a better translation than within). He is referring here (cf. Lk 10:9, 11; 11:2a) to the occasions when people turn to God. There is nothing spectacular in a conversion, yet it changes one’s destiny forever.