Wednesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time, September 23
May Jesus, Who Has Chosen Both You and Me to Be His Disciples, Take and Use What We Can Offer, However Meager It May Seem, for the Greater Glory of His Most Holy Name.
We read from today’s Gospel, “Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”
I know that I have spoken about this before, but I feel it bears repeating. Some of us may have witnessed, at one time or another, people on street corners – especially in the major cities like New York, Philadelphia or Chicago, London or Paris, to name just a few – who stand up bravely and prophetically proclaim, “Repent! The Kingdom of God is at hand!”
The average person in today’s society might look at them and chuckle to him or herself about how weird they are, but isn’t this exactly what John the Baptist was proclaiming in the dessert? Even our Lord, in today’s Gospel, says to His twelve Apostles, “…proclaim the Kingdom of God…”
Exactly what is this “Kingdom of God” about which our Lord is speaking? Our First Reading today from the Book of Proverbs gives us a hint as to its understanding when we read that God “…is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”
Even in our Responsorial Psalm today, the psalmist speaks of what is at the heart of the Kingdom of God when he writes, “The law of your mouth is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces…Your word, O LORD, endures forever; it is firm as the heavens…From every evil way I withhold my feet, that I may keep your words.”
And Jesus states in a later chapter of Luke’s Gospel, “The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the kingdom of God is among you.”
This Kingdom of God, for the faithful person, is a way of thinking. It is a way of acting and believing. God’s Kingdom is within each one of us, as we open our hearts and embrace His laws and His teachings.
And our Lord wanted to make His Kingdom available to all in Israel. For, in today’s Gospel, we read how Jesus sent His chosen Twelve out into the world – to the lost sheep of Israel – to proclaim a message of hope, a message of love, a message of forgiveness.
They had heard our Lord preach the message of the Beatitudes, and they were to take this message to the lost and the hopeless, and to heal the sick, building up the Kingdom within each one they met.
We must remember that these chosen Twelve were themselves members of the lost sheep. They were human beings with their own faults and shortcomings, not unlike ourselves – Peter could be impulsive; Matthew was known as a tax collector; Judas was greedy; Simon was a zealot; John and James were politically ambitious; and Thomas was cautiously skeptical!
And when we look at ourselves, we can find a bit of us in each of the Apostles. But this is God’s way – raising up the lowly – so that, in the newness of faith which has invigorated and lifted up each of our hearts, we, in turn, through our own pilgrimage of faith, spread the Good News to others.
And this is God’s way of building up His Kingdom, one person, one soul at a time, so that each one of us becomes His disciple spreading the Good News – the proclamation that God’s Kingdom is truly at Hand within each of us – filling us with His peace, filling us with joy and guiding us to an ever greater holiness!
Even in our Lord’s Prayer, the prayer which Jesus taught us to pray to His and to our Eternal Father, we pray that God may reign in our lives and in the world which we live – “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
The Kingdom of God already reigns within the hearts of the faithful today, but in an incomplete way. And, as our Catechism and Scripture teach us, the Kingdom of God will only come to its fullness, and in glory, when Christ finally hands it over to His Father, when “every sovereignty and every authority and power” have been placed under His feet.
As followers and disciples of our Lord, Jesus Christ, we need to not only hear His message and make it a part of our daily lives, we also need to live it for others to see, so that we may become a holy example imitating the example set for us by the saints.
For it was Saint Francis of Assisi, himself, who once taught his disciples, “Preach the Gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.” In other words, live a life which is Christ-like as a holy example for others to follow.
Let us pray that Jesus, who has chosen both you and me to be His disciples, may take and use what we can offer, however meager it may seem, for the greater glory of His Most Holy Name!
For it is through the faith which we live in our hearts, and the love which we show towards others, especially to those who are less fortunate, whereby we become like that itinerant street corner preacher, prophetically proclaiming God’s Kingdom.
For it is not only “at hand”, it is here now within us and also within each person we touch! †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “[Jesus] summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God…” (Luke 9:1-2)
- “Every word of God is tested; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” (Proverbs 30:5)
- “The law of your mouth is more precious to me than heaps of silver and gold…All your commandments are steadfast…Your word, LORD, stands forever; it is firm as the heavens…I keep my steps from every evil path, that I may observe your word.” (Psalm 119:72, 86a, 89, 101)
- “Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name; make known among the peoples his deeds! Sing praise to him, play music; proclaim all his wondrous deeds! …Seek out the LORD and his might; constantly seek his face. Recall the wondrous deeds he has done, his wonders and words of judgment.” (Psalm 105:1-2, 4-5)
- “In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!’” (Matthew 3:1-2)
- “After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: ‘This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’” (Mark 1:14-15)
- “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
- “Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-26)
- “Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he said in reply, ‘The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the kingdom of God is among you.’” (Luke 17:20-21)
- “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9b-10)
- “[Paul] received all who came to him, and with complete assurance and without hindrance he proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 28:30b-31)
- “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
Prayer for the Day
“Jesus, Loving Companion of Your children,
You have extended Your friendship to all.
You opened Your arms without discrimination,
offering Your warmth to those seeking comfort.
“Endow me with the virtue of such a friendship,
to know, love and trust all on an equal basis;
To share my friendship without prejudice,
and to be charitable towards those who are less fortunate.
“Fashion my heart to reflect Your qualities,Anonymous
those befitting a loving and caring spirit.
Jesus, You showed me the way to true friendship;
Help me to be more like You in the world around me. Amen.”