32nd Week in Ordinary Time
The Kingdom of God is among you.
Sometimes hidden forces are the most powerful. Think about the work that goes into digging a canal: huge machines, lots of noise, noticed by everybody. Now, compare that with the way the Colorado River carved the Grand Canyon. It was a slower process, and no one would have even noticed what was happening at first. But the final results are much more impressive. No excavation crew could ever have completed such a beautiful project!
In today’s Gospel (Luke 17:21), Jesus teaches us about the most powerful unseen force of all: the kingdom of God. He explains that the coming of this kingdom isn’t accompanied with a lot of fanfare, and many don’t notice it. Jesus’ humble coming in the flesh was the inauguration of the kingdom, and that was a very quiet beginning. But from that point on, everything began to change. The kingdom’s forces are now at work in a new way, and it’s only a matter of time before Jesus takes up his reign in a much more public way.
So we live in an “already, but not yet” time. God’s kingdom truly is among us, but it is not yet fully visible. This isn’t always easy for us. We want to see more; we want to experience more, but God is asking us to exercise our faith and to trust in his unseen presence and his invisible power. He wants us to live in hope—not a wistful denial of reality, but a sure and certain assurance that his kingdom truly is with us. We can be peaceful and trusting, secure in the knowledge that Jesus, our King, is in control, and we will eventually see him return in unmistakable glory.
So our time is one of both rest and activity. We rest in God and his promises, but we are also active as ambassadors of the kingdom. Sometimes our work is nothing more than admiring the work of the mighty river as it carves out the magnificent architecture of the kingdom. But at other times we can point out this work in progress to someone else. And at all times we can give thanks to our King, who is always at work in the world around us.
“Lord, I believe that your kingdom is here, now. And still I pray, ‘Let your kingdom come!’”
Psalm 119:89-91, 130, 135, 175
Word Among Us