We often hear this phrase, “The Kingdom of God ''. We even pray, “Thy Kingdom Come”. This “Kingdom” was the hallmark of Our Lord’s teaching and preaching. He kept referring to a Kingdom - not a Kingdom in the sense of a government with laws that would regulate the lives of its citizens.
Instead, this “Kingdom of God '' looked forward to a time, an event, to circumstances when God’s influence would completely shape people’s lives and their relationships with each other, without any form of resistance. For they would see God in their midst, as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden before their fall.
Christ the New Adam and Mary the New Eve provide for each one of us individually, and for the Church at large a model to restore that Garden Kingdom of Paradise - heaven on earth.
Ever so gently, without fear or panic, planting seeds, little seeds here and there, deep in the soil of our hearts and souls, Christ provides us with his own example of patience, gentleness, never losing an opportunity to teach us by his words, by his own example of healing and through his own standard of divine justice and mercy.
Christ himself is the embodiment of the Kingdom of God. But remember how He was treated when He did not meet our expectations or our standards of what a kingdom should be - He was crucified to death with a mocked title above his head - "King of the Jews".
If Christ's Kingdom is not of this world's making, how do we participate in that Kingdom? We do so, by embodying Christ Himself.
Last week we celebrated the great solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ. Through our participation in this great sacrament, we can allow Christ to embody us. And by doing so, we must allow Him to influence every aspect of our lives and our relationships, how we relate to those around us, especially the weak and the vulnerable who need our protection. The Kingdom of God, is the restoration of God’s garden, The sacred place of encounter between heaven and earth.
The small mustard seeds of faith planted and tested in the lives of the first Christians two thousand years ago have over time grown into a large tree that spreads her branches far and wide. In our long history, we have experienced at times great growth, at other times famine. This great tree has at times been attacked and wounded. Other times, it has been dormant and looked dead and neglected. But it’s roots, formed by the seed planted by Christ himself, the sacrifice of His body buried in the earth, continue to be fed by his life giving Body and Blood
So, when we look around at the world, or even when we don’t see the flowers blooming from the Tree of Life, be assured, in every generation seeds have fallen to the ground. And when the time is right, and only God knows when, the good seeds we have planted will grow and flourish into a great and bountiful harvest for future generations.
So, in the meantime, be patient, be Christ-like, and look to the future with hope. God’s Kingdom will in time embrace the whole world and Christ’s Sacred Heart with reign over all creation, and the Church, will in time, like Mary’s Immaculate Heart, come to reflect the assurance of God’s loving presence on earth as it is in heaven.
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time