Homily for Thursday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: The Coming of the Kingdom of God.
By: Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA
Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
Dear brethrens, a story is told, about a little girl who was standing with her grandfather by an old-fashioned open well. They had just lowered a bucket and had drawn some water to drink. She asked her grandfather: “Shikulu (grand papa), where does God live?” the old man picked up the little girl and held her over the open well. “Look down the water,” he said, “and tell me what you see.” ‘I see myself,” said the little girl. ‘That’s where God lives,” said the old man, “He lives in you.”
*ABOUT TODAYS GOSPEL READING*
In today’s gospel, the Pharisees asked Jesus about, when the Kingdom of God would come. Jesus surprised them with the answer that the Kingdom of God cannot be observed. It’s not “here” or “there,” but ‘the Kingdom of God is among you,’ that is, within our hearts. God’s kingdom has already appeared in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the world. He speaks also of the coming of God’s kingdom as both a present event and an event which would be manifested at the end of time or is already here but not because its completion will happen at the end time.
*WHAT THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TEACHES ABOUT THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM*
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us also that the Kingdom of God is the reign or rule of God. The Catechism says: “The kingdom of God is . . . righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17). The Kingdom of God draws near in the coming of the Incarnate Word; it is announced in the Gospel; it is the messianic Kingdom, present in the person of Jesus, the Messiah; it remains in our midst in the Eucharist. Christ gave to His Apostles the work of proclaiming the Kingdom and through the Holy Spirit forms His people into a priestly kingdom, the Church, in which the Kingdom of God is mysteriously present, for she is the seed and beginning of the Kingdom on earth. In the Lord’s Prayer (‘Thy Kingdom come’) we pray for its final glorious appearance, when Christ will hand over the Kingdom to His Father,” (CCC nos. 541-554, 709, 763, 2816, 2819).
And so the Kingdom of God begins from within and transforms our hearts to be like God and a people who know the power of His love, mercy and forgiveness. The Lord Jesus is present in His word, in His Body the Church and in the “Breaking of the Bread,’ the Holy Eucharist. Jesus reveals Himself in many countless ways to those who seek Him with eyes of faith. When we read the Word of God in the Bible Jesus speaks to us and reveals to us the mind and heart of the Father. When we approach the Table of the Lord, Jesus offers Himself as spiritual food which produces the very life of God within us (‘I am the bread of life,’ John 6:35).
Saint Martin of Tours, pray for us!
Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA