In today’s Gospel Our Lord responds to the question that all the Jews at the time hand on their mind: when would the Kingdom of God come? For some it had meant the coming of a religious nation, purified from its sins; for others, the political autonomy and dominion of Israel over all its enemies. When Our Lord began his public ministry, he preached that the Kingdom of God was at hand. Now he tells us that the Kingdom of God is already present. How?
Just like the Jews we hope that something definitive will come with the Kingdom of God: that the evil that has plagued the world since the Fall will be definitively overthrown, and peace and justice restored to all of creation. We hope for an end to suffering, hunger, and illness, but it’s also evident that these things have not yet occurred. Our Lord reminds us today that the Kingdom is already present: it is active, just not easily seen. God is acting: hearts are being won back to him, and those hearts are going out and spreading his love among others and trying to be a force for positive change in society. Sometimes we may feel outnumbered and overwhelmed, but in hope we know the victory is already won, and it’s just a matter of spreading the Good News.
Our Lord teaches us today not to waste time looking for it on the horizon or seeking some prophet who supposedly has it already figured out. It’s going to be a long haul by everyone’s standards and he prepares us for that. We just have to persevere in faith, hope, and love, confident that through living a virtuous life we are welcoming the Kingdom into our hearts and helping others to reap its benefits as well.
Readings: Wisdom 7:22b–8:1; Psalm 119:89–91, 130, 135, 175; Luke 17:20–25.