11th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Thy Kingdom Come.” This phrase is easily recognized directly from a prayer that is overflowing with life-giving verses-the Our Father. I’m not surprised about the inclusion of “Thy Kingdom come.” The Gospels remind us often of the words of Jesus and the Apostles proclaiming the Kingdom of God. Sometimes this is also referred to as the Reign of God or, in a more contemporary expression - the Kin-dom of God - stressing right relationships. In today’s Gospel, the Kin-dom of God has a very focused place. It is so important that even words are not enough. When this happens, Jesus often speaks in parables showing us its meaning is ongoing and connects with the signs of the times.
Why is this proclamation of the Reign of God so important.? What did it mean in the time of Jesus and the Apostles? What does it mean now in our time? Is the Kin-dom coming, and is there anything that is an obstacle to its coming?
In the Polish tradition, there is a saying at one of their festivities that, “Jesus has come a new world is born!” The Reign of God is not just a personal new world. It is for the entire world to be born anew. Scripture is filled with the Way of this new world. In short, let’s just say a life of Faith, Hope, and Love. As in the Our Father, it is meant to manifest our relationship with God and with one another. And we have second chances!
The Gospel today reminds us that the Kingdom is like a seed which “would sprout and grow. We know not how.” The making of the reign of God is somewhat our work and somewhat “we know not how.” And the mustard seed parable reminds us that even from the smallest of seeds, the Reign of God can happen! Very hopeful and directive, as well as filled with mystery!
Jesus and the Apostles were passionate about proclaiming and furthering the Kingdom of God. Would it help to see where we would be without the Kingdom of God? Are there other “kingdoms” competing for our attention?
In our day, many “kingdoms” vie for our attention, our time, and our money. Some operate with greed and deception. Some Religious Institutions, Churches, Temples, and Mosques pile on burdens and proclaim messages that are their own and not according to God’s Plan as put before us. There are Political Systems by which “power over” rather than “power with” are the key elements. There are some societies where there is so much fake news and disinformation that truth is difficult to know. And some “kingdoms” are destroying our planet, for-profit and radical racism which fosters privilege and bullying and violence, and making might to be right. So, yes, other kingdoms are vying for our attention. The Our Father comes to the rescue again! We pray, “…deliver us from evil, for thine is the Kingdom.” Conversions do happen!
Thank God Jesus and the Apostles proclaimed and invited us into The Kingdom. Otherwise, we would be lost and walking in darkness. Thy Kingdom comes in committed relationships in marriage and family and friendships. Thy Kingdom comes in community, churches, temples, and mosques. Thy Kingdom comes in non-profits and justice movements, in ministries, prayer groups, and bible studies.
Seeds are meant to grow. As the Gospel today says: “…and they knew not how.”
As we pray the Our Father, maybe a little more slowly and with more understanding, and in Faith, can we not have this attention and intention in our mind and heart?
“…Thy Kingdom Come. Thy will be done… Deliver us from evil. For thine is the Kingdom…”
Sr. Jo-Anne Faillace, OP