November 14, 2019 (Thursday of week 32 Year I)
In your midst
Dear friends in Christ, Jesus often talks of the kingdom of God as a feast which first had invited guests but which however became an open feast to all comers. Today, he talks of the kingdom as being here in our midst. Can we recognise the kingdom of God?
In our first reading (Wisdom 7:22-8:1) wisdom is personified and given wonderful attributes that places her as close as possible to the creator. “For in wisdom there is a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, clear, unpolluted, distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen, irresistible, beneficent, humane, steadfast, sure, free from anxiety, all powerful, overseeing all, and penetrating through all spirits that are intelligent, pure and most subtle.” Who is it that does not desire this wisdom? Here in this passage we have 21 qualities of wisdom. The numbers 3 and 7 are significant in this case. While three has to do with the divine, seven expresses perfection. Many of the attributes of wisdom as enumerated here are directly associated with God. We need wisdom in everything we do. We must ask God to grant it to us to be able to order our days and life aright.
In the gospel (Luke 17:20-25) Jesus talks about his two comings, and dismissed the notion of a coming kingdom that looks more like an end-time arrival of a new city. “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Behold, here it is!’ or ‘there!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” There has been many predictions of the end of the world since the death and resurrection of Jesus. In some of such cases people have been so scared as to believe the stories. Some have put in various levels of preparations including giving up on their day to day activities. In 1998 for instance, there were people who stock their homes with candles in preparation for darkness and those who sold their properties and handed the proceeds over to crooks who swindled them of what they’ve struggled to earn. Jesus warns his disciples against believing such stories. He told them that the kingdom of God is already in their midst. If we hold on to that, we will discover within ourselves that God is with us and then go forth to see God in those around us. With this also, it becomes a challenge to make the world a wonderful place for all to live.
Let us pray: Lord, keep us always in your love so that we will be ready for your coming. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen!