5th Sunday Reflection: The Kingdom of God, a second glance
Franciscan Reflections From The Hermitage – Proclamation of The Kingdom of God – a second glance – 5th SUNDAY Year B – Mark 1: 29-39
Does my life reflect the inherent human dignity that lies within me?
Do I acknowledge this intrinsic human dignity present in all those I encounter?
Do my words reflect the Light Of Christ that brings healing, compassion and hope?
Is our world a better place because of my presence?
What would it take to change our world into something more reflective of our true humanity, of compassion, justice, equity, peace, and joy? Our current trajectory seems to be in the opposite direction with commercialisation and beneficiation of every aspect of creation, the elements, and even creatures.
Yet in this great scramble for wealth and amid such plenty, our lives appear to have become ever more impoverished, our humanity ever more diminished.
Human history emphasises the trajectory of these earthly kingdoms, based on values opposing our common humanity. This was the same world in which the Christ event takes place. God breaking into our history and proclaiming the kingdom of God.
Perhaps we still stand too close to this event horizon to fully come to grips and to fully appreciate the miracle that has taken place… a New World trajectory that even today continues to unfold within our consciousness. This is the continued blossoming of the kingdom of God, the recognition of the intrinsic human dignity of every human person.
What did it mean to be a person, a human person, before this Christ event? Our history points to a world in which personhood was reserved to those of ancestry, wealth, and power, having a ‘face’ before the eyes of the law, possessing the rights of a free and propertied citizen, entrusted to testify on the strength of one’s own word. An accident of birth and your status in law and society was determined.
For the rest, there was no face, no countenance as a person, of no esteem, and of no value. How high has this Christ event raised our vantage point? Can we start to see it now? This is the proclamation of the kingdom of God that changes everything.
This is the kingdom of God that continues to unfold as our consciousness breaks upon us and reaches ever-higher levels. This is the core of the gospel message where no person is inconsequential, of no value, and no esteem.
Yes, the kingdom of God is with us, is within us, and our world is a better place, ever becoming a better place in which all of creation constitutes this universal kingdom of God.
This is the promise of God and our hope, the foundation of our faith. This is the reign of God in our hearts, by God’s grace coming to fruition within us and moving us ever closer to the desire of our hearts and towards justice, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Our work is to continue this proclamation not merely by our words, but by the reflection of our lives mirrored to the world. Perfect we are not, and this is reflected in all of our human institutions, even the church, and so we continue to pray for God’s reign to be made perfect and complete.
“What is a merciful heart? It is a heart on fire for the whole of creation, for humanity, for the birds, for the animals, for demons, and for all that exists.
By the recollection of them, the eyes of a merciful person pour forth tears in abundance.
By the strong and vehement mercy that grips such a person’s heart, and by such great compassion, the heart is humbled and one cannot bear to hear or to see any injury or slight sorrow in any in creation.
For this reason, such a person offers up tearful prayer continually even for irrational beasts, for the enemies of truth, and for those who harm her or him, that they be protected and receive mercy…because of the great compassion that burns without measure in a heart that is in the likeness of God.” – St Isaac the Syrian
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