When we pray the prayer Jesus taught us “Our Father’ we pray ‘Thy Kingdom come’. What does this mean to you – Thy Kingdom come?
We tend to think of a kingdom as a place where a King lives and rules. In a King’s kingdom people respect the laws of the king or they find themselves punished and possibly exiled from the kingdom. In a King’s kingdom, the King is exalted. He sits on a throne and he is obeyed and honoured.
The Birth of the King, Jesus Christ
Jesus is Our glorious God (One with God the Father and the Holy Spirit) who sat on a heavenly throne before the world began. In His infinite mercy and desire to redeem the people He created, Jesus descended from His heavenly throne to become man. Jesus, True God and True Man, was born in a place where the animals were being kept. He was not recognized as a king and only a few people were blessed to know that He was the long awaited Messiah.
Jesus ‘who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:6-8
Jesus is the King who gave His divine life for His creatures in order for His Kingdom to be born.
Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” John 3:3
“Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.” John 3:5
“Some Pharisees asked Jesus when God’s kingdom would come. He answered, “God’s kingdom isn’t something you can see. No one will say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’; because the Kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20-21
The Kingdom of God – A Secret Place of Sacred Communion with God
The Kingdom of God is a ‘Secret Place’ within us where God dwells, where He is exalted as Lord and King.
God does not enter this ‘Secret Place’ without an ‘interior transformation’ brought about by our Baptism into Jesus Christ and by the power of God’s Holy Spirit entering our hearts and preparing room for the indwelling of the Divine King.
St. Peter explained ‘this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also–not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand–with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.” 1 Peter 3:21-22
In Baptism we receive the cleansing and purification and sanctification that comes from the Blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit of God. “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Galatians 3:27
With so many baptized Christians in the world, why is there so much sin?
I think the simple answer is Baptism is a Sacrament of Grace but we can lose God’s grace and the privilege of living in communion with Him if we choose to sin and not follow God’s Law of Love.
Entering Into the Kingdom of God – Need for Humility and Contrition and Total Trust in Jesus
There is a beautiful passage in the Book of the Prophet of Isaiah that says: “For this is what the high and exalted One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15
The King, the Holy One, Jesus Christ will dwell in the hearts of the humble and contrite.
The Kingdom of God can be born within us if we repent of our sins and turn back to Our Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Jesus challenges us to become humble and trusting like children: “Truly I tell you,” He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18: 3-4
For ten years I taught little children in the Church as I prepared them to receive their First Sacraments. I recall teaching them that we were all part of the family of God, brothers and sisters. One little boy said, “Well if we are all one family, then we should love one another.” He was only eight years old.
Little children are naturally trusting and kind. It is only as they grow up that they begin to compete for attention and resist sharing. As we grow into adults we can often in our independence begin to trust only ourselves, but God wants His people to trust Him.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6-7
The Kingdom of God is God’s masterpiece. It is a divine design that is born gradually and persistently as we God’s people surrender to His grace, repenting of our sins and consenting to His Holy will. The Kingdom of God comes as we are ‘born again’ by the infinite power of God’s Holy Spirit, cleansed by the power of the Sacred Blood of Jesus.
The Secret of True Faith is the Secret of the Kingdom of God
People of true faith are faithful to doing the Holy Will of God.
If the Kingdom of God is a holy communion between God and Man such that Man is reborn by the power of God’s love, then consider that in this communion God’s people ‘love to love’ God!
Another way of expressing ‘loving to love’ is being ‘in-love’. When couples are ‘in love’ with one another they are faithful to one another. In this love it is easy to make sacrifices and to stay focused on one another. People in love want to be together. They want to talk and dream together. They want to express their love and share their love publicly and privately.
It’s really not much different in a true holy communion with God. When the Kingdom of God is born within us we know that God is with us and we long to honour Him and please Him. As I sit here in silence typing these words I know I am not alone. Jesus is with me. I am aware of His holy presence assisting me and working through me. I rejoice in being able to share what He has taught me. The thought of being unfaithful to Him is so offensive to me that I pray ‘help me to love You Jesus as you desire to be loved!’.
The Kingdom of God requires much prayer, much trust, much faith, much hope and a total and complete surrender to God’s tender love. Each and every soul is called to open their heart to a love and a peace that is unimaginable.
Why then doesn’t this happen?
I believe it is because people don’t really know this is possible. That’s why we need to share the Gospel message of Jesus Christ, along with our witness of how we are living and experiencing our faith.
“So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” Romans 10:17
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
The Kingdom of God is the reward that God gives those who will trust in Him and earnestly seek Him.
God desires our love! God desires to live in us!
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13
In the last decade one thing has marked each and every day and that thing is a special walk with Jesus to Calvary. Every day I take a spiritual journey to the place of Christ’s crucifixion and on this walk Jesus opens my heart to the greatness of His love for me and you and each and every soul on earth. On this walk I realize that this world is being limited by one thing: a lack of faith in Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
We cannot say we have true faith if we don’t let that faith transform our life. “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” James 2:26
I invite you to join Christians all over the world that are stopping at the Time Jesus died for us, 3pm (locally), to remember the Passion of Christ. If 3pm locally is not a good time for you to do this then choose a different time zone and let that time be the time you remember Jesus dying for you! At this time pray for all souls. Pray for the Holy Spirit to enter the hearts of all people so that the Kingdom of God can be born and our King Jesus Christ can be exalted and loved!