Father Edward Hopkins, LC
Jesus told his disciples a
parable. "Consider the fig tree and all the other
trees. When their buds burst open, you see for
yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the
same way, when you see these things happening, know
that the Kingdom of God is near. Amen, I say
to you, this generation will not pass away until
all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth
will pass away, but my words will not pass away."
Introductory Prayer: Dear Jesus, I believe in you
and in the Kingdom you are building in and through
me. I believe in the value of my sacrifice
and struggles united to yours. I hope to arrive
to heaven when you say it is time. I wish
to spend myself for those I should love the
Petition: Thy kingdom come, now and
1. See for Yourselves: In today’s Gospel, Jesus is
responding to the disciples’ anxious plea for a “when”
and a “with what warning” the end will come (Luke
21:7). He tells them some signs that will precede
the imminent fall of Jerusalem as well as the coming
of the Son of Man “on the clouds.” But
these will all be very apparent, like the coming
of summer. So don’t be obsessed with figuring out the
“when.” Focus on living and knowing the Kingdom of
God now. How easily we are distracted with all
that happens around us, yet how difficult it is to
be aware of the Kingdom and its demands in
my heart and my relations to others in my life!
What efforts do I make to discover and know
the present demands of his Kingdom in my life?
The Kingdom of God Will Come: Jesus has used
many images to describe the Kingdom of God. Like
the mustard seed, it is hard to recognize at first.
It begins small and grows slowly. But it will
come, and this must be our daily prayer of desire:
“Thy Kingdom Come!” We must resist a very real
temptation. Almost unconsciously we want it to be a
worldly Kingdom that will come during our lifetime. We work
and pray as though we will soon arrive at
our goals and rest from all our spiritual labors.
This leads us to get easily discouraged at our lack
of progress in prayer and virtue, no less than
with the problems that surround us. No, we must
live with hope, pushing forward with growing confidence that the
Lord will bring his Kingdom to fulfillment, both in
us and in the world – when the time
is right. Whose kingdom am I seeking?
3. My Words Will
Not Pass Away: Another temptation in awaiting the Kingdom
is to despair of the times of trial through
which we must pass. But in the words of St.
Theresa of Jesus, “all things pass,” only God remains.
Nothing we suffer will remain as the Kingdom approaches.
And yet all these “trials” are the most valuable and
powerful means to bring about the Kingdom in our
own souls and in the lives of others, especially
in those who wander. Use the tools of the Kingdom:
Suffer trials with faith, and respond with a love
that gives them an eternal value. May we never
lose a moment in which to merit graces and build
the Kingdom that comes. In the end, only what
we have done for God and for our brothers and
Conversation with Christ:Lord Jesus, give
me a greater faith and confidence that every cross and
burden, no matter how trivial or small, is a
means to love. I want to build your Kingdom
with you. Keep me focused on the opportunities and demands
of the present moment.
Resolution: I will
make one small sacrifice at a meal today for
someone I wish I could help more.