Father Edward Hopkins, LC
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Asked by the Pharisees when
the kingdom of God would come, Jesus 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." Then he said to his
disciples, "The days will come when you will long
to see one of the days of the Son
of Man, but you will not see it. There will
be those who will say to you, ´Look, there
he is,´ or ´Look, here he is.´ Do not go
off, do not run in pursuit. For just as
lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side
to the other, so will the Son of Man
be in his day. But first he must suffer
greatly and be rejected by this generation.
Introductory Prayer: Lord,
I believe in your presence in my life. You
have called me to share in your faith and love.
I trust that you will help me grow closer
to you. I love you, Lord, here and now. I
will live this day in prayer.
help me to understand your Kingdom better.
1. When? Since
the Pharisees had the wrong notion of the Kingdom
of God, they could hardly ask the proper questions
concerning it. Their expected kingdom was a worldly kingdom that
would cast off foreign domination and restore sovereignty to
Israel. But Christ’s kingdom is concerned more about the
state of the soul and the struggle between good and
evil than external nations. The Pharisees’ misperception kept them
from recognizing Christ and his kingdom. Thousands of years
later we, too, can be susceptible to the errors
of the Pharisees. For us, a lack of faith can
keep us from seeing that the Kingdom of God
comes only when we accept Jesus as king of
our souls. Only when we allow him to rule and
order our lives does his kingdom come. The “when”
is now. Now is the moment for me to encounter
Christ and make him my king.
2. Where? Christ’s disciples
also struggled to understand the nature of the kingdom.
They sought to see “the days of the Son
of Man,” a powerful reign where Christ was supreme with
the entire world subject to him. Yet, Christ comes
first to reign in the heart of each person.
In my own heart, do I believe in Christ and
accept his will? Do I love him and sacrifice
myself in order to respond to his will? Am I
building the kingdom from my prayer and life of
3. How? If the kingdom is here and now,
then how do we enter? We enter the same
way our King enters – through the door of
suffering and perseverance. “First he must suffer greatly and be
rejected.” Belief is not just a one-time acceptance. Faith
must be lived throughout the great and little trials
we encounter in life. In this way we make faith
and the kingdom more our own. We need to
remember that in the end, it is the kingdom --
and the King himself -- who comes to us,
like lighting across the sky.
Conversation with Christ:
Dear Jesus, help me to understand your
kingdom. Build your kingdom within me, in my thoughts and
desires. Become my life and my love. Cut away
any distance between us. Make my life the light
and salt to spread your kingdom effectively to those with
whom I cross paths.
will dedicate a longer and calmer time to examine
my conscience tonight, and look for progress as well as
the struggles of the kingdom within me.