11TH NOVEMBER 2021
MEMORIAL OF ST. MARTIN OF TOURS- BISHOP
In today's Gospel reading Jesus says something that is very wise. When asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God was coming he answered, " Behold the Kingdom of God is in your midst. "The Pharisees seem not to be aware that the Kingdom of God is already in place in their midst.
By saying that the Kingdom of God is already in our midst, Jesus is driving the point that the Kingdom of God is to be looked for, not in the outward scene of a person's life but in the heart of a person based on how that person perceives and lives according to the righteousness of that kingdom.
Biblically, the heart is the place where you think and make sense of the world, it is where you feel emotions and make choices based on your attitude. It therefore means that if the Kingdom of God is already in our midst, have we noticed it, and if we have noticed it, have we embraced it? Generally, we live in a world that prefers to have surety about the future in a systematic and programmed way because this enables us to have order and expectations.
For example, we know the date of our General Election and we know when a new government will be inaugurated but with this knowledge are we wise enough to know what is already happening in terms of governance.?
If we were to know the exact date and time of the coming of God's Kingdom, what would we do? Will we look forward to it by our way of life? Would we be aware of what it entails?
We normally plan for wedding dates, for graduations and for visits to different places and we live according to the planning for we know the date and the time but when it comes to the Kingdom of God, we are given an opportunity to know that it is already happening so that we can live in the present in light of what God has promised to do in the future.
The Jewish people belief was that the Kingdom of God would begin with as bang, with a powerful Messiah establishing his rule in Israel and delivering the nation from her enemies, but this bang and this powerful Messiah came in a different way.
When Jesus says in Luke 4:16-20 that, " The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, that he has chosen me to bring good news to the poor, liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, freedom to the captives and to proclaim the year of the Lord, " he was in essence pointing out that the Kingdom of God was already in place because after this statement, Jesus immediately started preaching and performing miracles.
If the people expected a big bang, is this big bang not seen in this statement? If the people expected a powerful Messiah, was Jesus not full of power in words and deeds? If the people expected deliverance from their enemies, then the enemies were things like blurred spiritual attitudes and chained minds that burdened people in their faith and life. Can't they see the Kingdom of God already in place?
Are we too fixated on the future to the extent that we do not see what is happening at the present? The word of God today reminds us to have the wisdom of knowing that God is already at work pointing us to the future but before that future comes are we eager and zealous to accept the logic and the happenings of God's Kingdom here and now? Where can we currently see the kingdom of God already taking place in our lives and in our society?