Change Now, for the Kingdom is Here!

Clergy Corner by Fr. Ray

In creating the world, God’s loving purpose was to establish His Kingdom by sharing the gift of His life with His creation. When Jesus said, "the Kingdom of God is close at hand" (Mk 1:15), He meant that God had already initiated His Kingdom by sharing His life with us through Jesus and His Kingdom longs for its completion.

As part of the evolving purpose of God leading the human race towards His Kingdom, our world as we know it has its positive value. We admire this world and we love it. It lies before us like a land of dreams, so various, so beautiful. This world, after all our science and sciences, is still a miracle, wonderful, inscrutable and magical. However, those who have to deal with the world, "should not become engrossed in it because it is passing away" (1 Cor 7:31). We should live this life to the full but never forget its ultimate goal which is the Kingdom. This means that as we carry out our daily responsibilities, we must also respond to God’s voice coming through the mouths of the poor, lonely and forgotten. In our search for riches, we must not lose the things that money can’t buy.

How soon will the plan of God for His Kingdom be realized? It depends much on how earnest we are to be on God’s side and cooperate with His plan. If we are on the Lord’s side and for His Kingdom, we will use the countless gifts He has given to each of us to advance His Kingdom. Unfortunately, some of us are like Jonah. His flight westward, when the call of God was to go eastward (Jon 1:3), is a powerful symbol of the many attempts people make to hide from their destiny, failing to use the gifts God has given them. However, despite our failures to be constantly on the Lord’s side to bring about His Kingdom, the Lord always wins, for He can bring out good even out of evil and He can accomplish His goal by the repentance of His people.

Therefore, if we feel that we have not been cooperative enough with God to realize His Kingdom, we are called to repent. "Repent, believe in the Gospel" (Mk 1:16). To believe in the Gospel is to take God at His Word and believe in our destiny. To repent is to change. It is coming to one’s senses with a corresponding change in conduct. It is changing our perspective to God’s perspective. It is reviewing our gifts, obligations, opportunities and activities in the light of God’s Kingdom. It is turning more and more away, for example, from selfishness and laziness or prejudice and stubbornness or from greed and possessiveness. Take care not to postpone repentance. Hence, repent now, for the time is now. Change now, for the Kingdom is here.

Tags: Fr. Ray, Clergy Corner

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