Our Gospel passage for today touches a very familiar chord in all of us it seems to me. How we all long for the peace and joy of a heaven on earth! When will we see the peace and happiness the Lord promised us? When is the Kingdom of God going to come?
Jesus had to have a conversation with his own disciples about this, especially as he was being prodded by the haughty, unbelieving Pharisees. Jesus calmly declares that the coming of the Kingdom is not an event that will be heralded by trumpets and flutes, or miraculous events. (How we all look for the miraculous in our midst!) Rather, Jesus is reminding all who would listen that the Kingdom of God, a time of peace and justice, will arrive only after the Messiah, the chosen one, would “suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”
In other words, dear friends, the Kingdom of God is something we experience only after we have walked with the Lord sufficiently, even suffered with him. The rejection that Jesus speaks of is only too clear today. I doubt many people in our fast-moving society take much time to think about how it is God’s Kingdom that really matters and not our own! We are so caught up in building fortresses and walls that we scarcely give God’s Kingdom much of a thought. If we want to dream, then perhaps we should dream about how different the world in which we live today would be if we spent more time trying to build up the Kingdom of God rather than our own!
Fr. Pat Brennan, C.P. is the director of Saint Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat and Conference Center, Detroit, Michigan.