Psalms: 25, 9, 15
Old Testament: Daniel 4:19-27
New Testament: 1 John 3:19-4:6
Gospel: Luke 4:14-30
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a Commentary on 1 Peter by Bede

For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
nor the hope of the poor perish for ever. (Psalm 9:18)

‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ (Luke 4:18-19)

Today I want to concentrate on something that often gets relegated to the after-life when–really–it should be the exact opposite.

Constantly throughout the New Testament there is talk about the Kingdom of God. It is the subject of parables, prophecy and the ethical teachings of Jesus.

A time when the oppressed are given relief, when those who are in prison are set free and all physical infirmities are healed.

In their original context, Christ was not speaking about a future time…..but declares

“Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (v. 20)

It is meant to be a present day reality. And yet, the time of God’s reign has long since been taught and preached as part of our heavenly reward after death.

Of course, this is partially true…..since we will inherit the Golden Jerusalem at the resurrection of the dead….but for some reason, Western theology confused the term Kingdom of Heaven with “the place we go when we die.”

While this might be convenient and heart-warming for most folks to accept…..it is not the reality of Christian teaching.

The kingdom of God is something that has already begun. It started with the Incarnation of Jesus into the world….and is continuing to transform our world today. 🙂

In our Baptism, we are not the agents of this change…..God is 😀

*BUT* we are stewards and co-creators with our Creator….that is the ministry we were given from day one…(or day six, depending on which chapter in Genesis you’re paying attention to ;))

So the question we are left with is…….in what way are we called to proclaim the Good News and do our part to co-create that reality with our Father??? +

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