In today’s Gospel reading from Luke we hear Jesus proclaiming that the Kingdom of God is among us. He says that there will be men who will shout out, “He is here!” or “He is there!” but we are not to go off running frantically toward them, searching for the Kingdom that is already present.
I have a colleague who hangs a sign on her office door that reads, “Slow down! We don’t have much time.” I often chuckle reading it, and think to myself how common it is for us in our spiritual lives to scurry about from one place to another searching for God’s grace. Jesus uses the image of a lightening bolt in the Gospel. Have you ever tried to pursue a lightening bolt? Anyone who does finds out that they will fail miserably in reaching it before it disappears. Have you ever thought that if you went to a certain shrine, or perhaps listen to a particular preacher, or read a certain author, or attend a particular parish you would have an experience of God’s kingdom? Those of us who do, struggle with disappointment, feeling stressed, out-of-sorts and divided within ourselves. We end up tearing ourselves apart, and we run the risk of tearing apart the Church, the ecclesial community.
I believe we will not see unity in the Church until we come to recognize and live out Jesus’ declaration in today’s Gospel, “The Kingdom of God is among you.”
No one man possesses the Kingdom. No one parish alone. No one author or preacher or shrine or prophet. No, the Kingdom of God is among us here and now. We don’t have to run about searching. The Kingdom of God is the wise Word of God, made flesh. The Kingdom of God is Jesus Christ. He is among us, here and now. This was the core of Jesus’ proclamation.
It is Jesus who will unify us as a Church, unify us each as individuals. He is present in every Catholic parish, every Catholic home, and in every house of formation.
Let us have quiet, peaceful hearts, open to the presence of God’s Kingdom, ever present among us…. now, right where we find ourselves, at any time or place.