"The time is fulfilled, andthe kingdom of Godis at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel"
(Mark 1:15 NKJV)
The first announcement of Jesus that the Gospel gives us is that the kingdom had approached the fulfillment of time, in perfect conditions. Contrary to the expectations of the people, He immediately clarifies that it was not a sort of earthly government, but a "reality" that is realized with his presence, the approach of which requires a change. Through his sacrifice, Jesus has reconciled us with the Father, and by his blood we have made peace with God. As our relationship with the Lord grows, the kingdom of God draws closer to being in us. On several occasions he told several parables to describe it. In one of these he compares it to the sower who sows a seed and then returns to his daily life. Meanwhile the seed sprouts and grows without his knowing how this happened (Mark 4:26-29). The Lord wanted to let it be understood that it is born and develops without us knowing how this can happen. It is not certain activities or practices that allow the seed to blossom, but it is the work that the Spirit does in everyone, most of the time without us even noticing. Instead of asking ourselves where the kingdom of God is, we should collect the indications of the model prayer and invoke: "Thy kingdom come ...".
On several occasions, Jesus spoke about the kingdom of God to his disciples and to the crowds. Despite the clarity of his words, we find it hard to immediately recognize his kingdom, even if it is in our hearts: "... for behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21b). Many over the centuries have made the mistake of considering it as a human kingdom; the same messianic expectation of the people of Israel was linked to the idea of a "revival" of the Davidic monarchy, dissolved between battles and successors in the following time. Instead, Jesus began preaching about him by stating that the kingdom had drawn near. It was not a matter of some kind of government, a group of people governed by legislation, but a condition that is realized with his presence. Those who are reached by the work of the Spirit feel something indefinable being born in them. Although we do not have full knowledge, like Nicodemus, when the Lord deposits the seed of the Word in us, little by little, the desire for the things of God grows irresistibly. Our eyes open and suddenly we become aware of our condition. far from His presence. We must therefore allow the Spirit to work in us so that it can grow. If we entrust ourselves to him, the seed will begin to sprout until it grows completely, because when the Lord begins a work, he completes it. If in your life you see a sprout of his work, do not stay and contemplate it, but let the work be completed. Don't ignore that time is ticking and we can't stay sprouts or stems for life, so don't put it off.
God expects each one to allow him to do his work without fear of passing from one phase to another. Yes, because some are afraid of growing up. Our existence is characterized by stages that we must go through. It would be absurd to think of stopping at the initial stage. In another parable, Jesus tells of a man who before leaving had entrusted some talents to three of his servants. While two made them bear fruit and multiply, the third made no gains (Matthew 25:14-30). We too could be like the latter who, for fear of losing Him, has not trafficked what he had been entrusted with. The Lord not only plants the seed of the Word in us, but entrusts us with the task of announcing it to others: "Go and preach the Gospel to every creature...", so that others may repent first and then believe. Returning to the kingdom, Scripture reminds us that it is in our hearts, and also that where our heart is, there is our treasure. Let us therefore grant the land of our flesh to the work of the Lord, striving every day to be vessels of honor and instruments that can honor and serve Him until the day of harvest, "for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). While remaining humble containers, he chose to place in us the glory of his kingdom. Do not forget!
Weekly Bible Reading
July 18, Psalms 20-22; Acts 21:1-17
July 19, Psalms 23-25; Acts 21:18-40
July 20, Psalms 26-28; Acts 22
July 21, Psalms 29-30; Acts 23:1-15
July 22, Psalms 31-32; Acts 23:16-35
July 23, Psalms 33-34; Acts 24
July 24, Psalms 35-36; Acts 25