Thursday, October 4, 2018
Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and He answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.” – Luke 17:20-21
A common interpretation of the words, “The kingdom of God is among you,”, is that Christ is speaking of Himself. Surrounded by the defenders of doctrine and keepers of the tradition, Christ could be speaking of Himself as the kingdom of God. Or what could go further and extend it to mean … who I am and what I am about, my values, my concerns and my vision, these make up the new kingdom of God. I believe are surely part of the Truth. Yet … I sometimes think there is yet another aspect of this teaching … the kingdom of God is in the midst of the relationship among the people, a kingdom that will be drawn forth from them by His Spirit in the realm of the new resurrection.
Within each soul is that inherited gift of the imago Dei, the image of God within us. We have within our living breath, the Breath of God’s Life. Like a latent image that is invisibly present with an exposed sheet of photographic paper, this image of God begins to appear when it is immersed in the Spirit of Christ, the quality of spirit that has come with the resurrection of Christ and in the anticipatory resurrection of all who welcome into their lives, His Life.
I believe it is possible that Christ answering the questions of the Pharisees was offering an invitation to both these men who sought to be holy and to the culture of faith that they were creating, these Pharisees who actually did believe in the resurrection. “My Pharisaical colleagues, you do have within yourselves that inner Light, that ancient Light that is waiting to be drawn forth by my Presence, my teaching, my way of Grace, Mercy, and self-giving Love.”
We have heard over and over that we have need for grace because of inborn vulnerability to sin, this original sin, but we need to remember over and over that we were also born within us the image of God enabling us to be inspired by possibilities.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz