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.”
Jesus was asked by some Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come. In their mind, the arrival of a triumphant Messiah-King was a definitive time. Jesus says it is not going to be like that at all and cannot be found by looking around for telltale signs so that you can say it is ‘here’ or ‘there’. No, says Jesus, “the Reign of God is already in your midst”. In other words, it is right in front of them. It is first of all in the very person of Jesus, who is the embodiment of the God’s presence. He is the living incarnation of God’s loving power revealed in his words and deeds. His way of life is the sign to see. The truth of his mercy to sinners and the lost is the sign of God’s presence. Jesus says that, when his day does come, it will “be like the lightning that flashes from one end of the sky to the other”. It will be both sudden and everywhere. In the meantime, Jesus “must suffer much and be rejected by the present age”. Words which clearly refer to his own suffering and death. So, on the one hand, the Reign of God is already here among us and we need look no further than the daily experience of caring and healing presence of Jesus when we do what he calls to do, when we do his mission to care for others. On the other hand, the time of that final coming which will “wipe every tear from our eyes” and be the end of all suffering and rejection is not for us to be anxious about. Each day offers occasions to practice mercy and charity and our positive responses are concrete signs of God’s presence in our lives.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018