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Jesus begins His own ministry; instead of establishing a center from where He would preach, He goes around and calls people to Himself. He has not stopped doing this since that day. I am called; personally called to follow Jesus wherever He goes.
I hear the proclamation: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” The journey of a Christian begins with this act of repentance; I am challenged since the beginning to change my mind, my opinion about what God is doing. How many times I think I have figured God out, I can read His mind, I pretend to know what He is going to do next. Fool! I have to change my mind, being constantly opened to what He is going to say, to do, to reveal. Repentance: a humbling act that gives me freedom.
The Kingdom of God is at hand. He will repeat this message to the disciples when He will send them out. He spent an incredible amount of time teaching about this topic. I think it deserves to be understood better. Not a geographical place, of course, but still concretely real – the established presence of God living in our midst.
The Kingdom belongs to God; only He can establish it. Yet, I can create the condition for this establishment. Never thought of it, I am involved in this. When I pray “Thy Kingdom come,” I can hear Him say to me: “what are you going to do so that My kingdom may come.” Yes! What can I do?
Jesus talked about the kingdom being present in our midst and also within us. What a great gift: the Kingdom is within me. It begins with me. It begins when I say Yes to Him and live out His words, one after another. That’s how He wants me to love Him.
But the Kingdom is also in our midst. The second reading of this week, from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, speaks of the necessary condition for the Kingdom to be established among us – the unity that comes from loving one another.
Unity and the Kingdom. One and the same? I can see how important it is to remain focused on reciprocal love. When we love one another, God lives in our midst. This is what really matters then, this is what makes us true Church.
I know what I must do, now: live out the kingdom that is in me so that it can be established in our midst. Another call to love, but this time I know that I am an active participant in the Kingdom that is at hand but that has already started being established here.