Belfast Telegraph

No need to be afraid as the Reign of God draws closer

By Fr Patrick McCafferty

Twice, in the Gospel portion read to many Christians this Sunday, the Lord declares: "The Kingdom of God is very near to you..." (Luke 10:8-11). At the very outset of His public ministry, Jesus announced: "The time has come and the Kingdom of God is at hand!" (Mark 1:15).

In the midst of our contemporary world, beset by many fears and uncertainties, Christians are sent forth by the Lord, to make clear and present, the certainty of the advent of the Reign of God. God is drawing ever closer to humanity, unstoppably so.

In another passage of Scripture read on Sunday, God's advance is portrayed in two powerful images: the comforting love of a mother for her frightened and distressed child; and "peace flowing like a river in full spate…" (Cf. Isaiah 66:10-14).

The coming Reign of God approaches humanity as a great wave of love that envelopes us in consolation and peace, sweeping away evil. The light shed on our human circumstances, radiating from the Lord's Cross, is the dawning brightness of God's Eternal Love, healing everything He has created and vindicating those He has chosen and called.

St Paul proclaims: "The only thing I can boast about is the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ" (Galatians 6:14).

We loudly declare, amidst the many and contradictory noises of today, that, on the Cross, God, in His Son, has shown His absolute solidarity with us in the face of evil, sin and death.

"God has transformed into thanksgiving, and so into blessing, the Cross, suffering, all the evil of the world," said Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, this week, on the 65th anniversary of his priestly ordination. Therefore, an attitude of abject gratitude and a disposition of profound adoration, is possible for the Christian, even in the most trying of situations.

There is no need to be afraid. Let us be faithful labourers sent by the Lord into His harvest fields.

The schemes and machinations of the enemy will never succeed. Jesus has said: "I watched Satan fall like lightning from Heaven" and has assured us that "your names are written in Heaven" (Luke 10:18-20).

"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire" (St Catherine of Siena, Letters 368).

Belfast Telegraph


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