Saint Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)
The Kingdom of God is among you. (Luke 17:21)
“Wait!” said one Pharisee to another. “Is he saying that the kingdom of God is already here? What about the Romans and their empire? We’re still an occupied nation. This sure doesn’t feel like the kingdom of God!” Looking around at our world, we might come to a similar conclusion. But the kingdom of God is not about a location or even the regime in power; it’s about a new way of relating to one another that brings healing and freedom.
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, he didn’t just talk about the kingdom of God. He also demonstrated it as he blessed, loved, forgave, healed, and served the people he was speaking to. His own witness demonstrated the kingdom: he didn’t hold any grudges, put on airs, or distance himself from the poor and the marginalized. In fact, he went out of his way to welcome them and show them God’s mercy. He also taught about this way of relating through parables that prioritized forgiveness over revenge, service over being served, and sacrificial love over self-serving arrogance.
Think about your relationships in this light. There is probably more of the kingdom of God in your midst than you think! Every time you hug your child, call a friend, help out in your parish, or do the dishes (with or without complaining), the kingdom of God is there. Every time you pray, it is there. Every time you choose to love the people around you, even when they’re not being particularly lovable, it’s there.
That’s encouraging, isn’t it? The kingdom of God really and truly is among you.
Today, think about how you can bring the kingdom of God into just one relationship. Look for one opportunity to encourage someone, to forgive, or to be an instrument of God’s presence. It doesn’t have to be dramatic and life changing. It just has to be upbuilding and life affirming. You are a citizen of this kingdom, an ambassador for Christ. Because of that, you can bring his presence wherever you go. You can make a difference!
“Thank you, Lord, for making me a citizen of your kingdom. Empower me to be a blessing to everyone I meet today.”
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