Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Devotion for today: Thy Kingdom come, part two

We continue our look at The Lord’s Prayer

John 3:5: Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Romans 14:17: For the kingdom of God does not mean food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit;

Luke 13:28: There you will weep and gnash your teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out.

Of course, Jesus has many meanings in this one line. I have referred to our personal longing to be part of God’s heavenly kingdom. We can also acknowledge that Jesus is referring to the final coming, when heaven and earth will pass away and only God’s kingdom will exist for those who acknowledged Him as King during their life time. That is the key. Know God now, and reign with Him forever after. Jesus is, after all, the Kingdom of God.

2818 In the Lord's Prayer, "thy kingdom come" refers primarily to the final coming of the reign of God through Christ's return.88 But, far from distracting the Church from her mission in this present world, this desire commits her to it all the more strongly. Since Pentecost, the coming of that Reign is the work of the Spirit of the Lord who "complete[s] his work on earth and brings us the fullness of grace (Catechism of the Catholic Church)."89
 88 Cf. Titus 2:13.
89 Roman Missal, Eucharistic Prayer IV,118.

We see, too, that the kingdom of God has a lot to do with allowing the Holy Spirit to set up that kingdom in our hearts as we work to make the world and ourselves worthy of God. We can never be singular in our desire for residence with God; we must bring as many people with us as we can. This is the challenge of living in a society today where God has been removed as King and has been replaced by the worship of money and self. But we cannot stop trying. There is still a deep hunger inside the people proclaiming that their laws are better than God’s laws, a hunger which can only be satisfied in knowing the true King. Who will tell them? Who will show them the Kingdom of God if not us? We must be driven by the Holy Spirit living within us to become people whose very lives reflect the Kingdom of God, people in whom the reception of the Eucharist can transform us from impatient, self-centered human beings into images of the loving and merciful King who walked the earth and will return.

2821 This petition is taken up and granted in the prayer of Jesus which is present and effective in the Eucharist; it bears its fruit in new life in keeping with the Beatitudes. (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

The kingdom of God means, then, the ruling of God in our hearts; it means those principles which separate us off from the kingdom of the world and the devil; it means the benign sway of grace; it means the Church as that Divine institution whereby we may make sure of attaining the spirit of Christ and so win that ultimate of God where He reigns without end in "the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.”  (Revelation 21:2). http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08646a.htm

2820 By a discernment according to the Spirit, Christians have to distinguish between the growth of the Reign of God and the progress of the culture and society in which they are involved. This distinction is not a separation. Man's vocation to eternal life does not suppress, but actually reinforces, his duty to put into action in this world the energies and means received from the Creator to serve justice and peace. (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Saint Cyprian of Carthage sums this up beautifully for us when he states, “The Lord's prayer continues: Thy kingdom come. We ask that the kingdom of God may appear to us, just as we ask that His name may be sanctified in us. For when does God not reign, or when does his kingdom begin, for it always has been and never ceases to be? We are praying that our kingdom, which has been promised to us by God, may come, the kingdom that was acquired by the blood and passion of Christ; and that we who started off as his subjects in this world may hereafter reign with Christ when he reigns, as he himself promised when he said: Come, I whom my Father has blessed, take up the kingdom which has been prepared for you from the beginning of the world.

But it may be, dearest brethren that Christ himself is the kingdom of God, for whose coming we daily ask. For since He Himself is our resurrection, since in Him we rise again, so also the kingdom of God may be understood to be Himself, since it is in Him that we shall reign. We do well to ask for the coming of the kingdom of God – that is, the heavenly kingdom – for there is also an earthly kingdom, and he who has already renounced this world is greater than any of its honors or powers.

by David Haas
1. Blest are they, the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of God. Blest are they, they, full of sorrow, they shall be consoled.
REFRAIN: Rejoice and be glad! Blessed are you, holy are you! Rejoice and be glad! Yours is the kingdom of God!
2. Blest are they, the lowly ones, they shall inherit the earth. Blest are they who hunger and thirst, they shall have their fill. (REFRAIN)
3. Blest are they who show mercy, mercy shall be theirs. Blest are they, the pure of heart, they shall see God! (REFRAIN)
4. Blest are they who seek peace; they are the children of God. Blest are they who suffer in faith, the glory of God is theirs. (REFRAIN)
5. Blest are you who suffer hate, all because of me. Rejoice and be glad, yours is the kingdom; shine for all to see. (REFRAIN)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9ek5YQmBmk (this is well worth viewing)

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