The kingdom of God in our midst

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January 14, 2019 Monday, 1st Week in Ordi

nary Time

1st Reading: Heb 1:1-6 Gospel: Mk 1:14–20 fter John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee and began preaching the Good News of God. He said, “The time has come; the kingdom of God is at hand. Change your ways and believe t h e Good News.”As Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” At once, they left their nets and followed him. Jesus went a little farther on and saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee; they were in their boat mending their nets. Immediately, Jesus called them and they followed him, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men. [email protected] (Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

In his work entitled Vom Sinn Des Christseins, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger wrote that when Jesus said, “This is the time of fulfillment; the kingdom of God is at hand”, we see the whole history of Israel. Its long history of struggle for freedom taught the people that human powers cannot save. “In the midst of this experience of a history that was full of disappointment, subjection, and injustice, Israel had ardently reached out towards a kingdom whose king would no longer be simply a man but God himself, the true Lord of the world and history”. This expectation was met when

AJesus announced, “The kingdom of God is at hand.”

But while the people wanted God to be their king, their idea of salvation was eclipsed by their longing for political freedom. They expected a Savior who had enough powers to overthrow their Roman conquerors. When Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is at hand” he wanted to announce the beginning of a culture of repentance. The Jews did not grasp this meaning. They insisted on a Messiah with the power to change the oppressive structure of their society

Many times we too have called upon God to change certain structures in society. Is God playing deaf to our prayer considering that up to now society is still enmeshed in sinful structures? We find the answer in today’s Gospel message. Before asking for a miraculous change of our structures, we need to change our hearts first. For if God were to change the structure but the people continued sinning, society could easily revert to its original sinful condition. To change society, we too should become what Israel later became as described by Cardinal Ratzinger: “Ardently reaching out towards a kingdom whose king would no longer be simply a man but God himself, the true Lord of the world and history”.

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