Potomac River at Point of Rocks, Maryland
In today’s gospel there is a response from Jesus to the Pharisees. These men wanted to know from Jesus when the Kingdom of God would come. Their question, “when,” is not unknown among some people of our own time and culture. Earlier this year there were those who were certain that the world would end in May, 2011 and suddenly we would be confronted with the Kingdom of God.
Jesus’ reply can easily surprise even some among us. “The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”
Scripture scholar Fr. Robert J. Karris, OFM notes the following in his commentary on the gospel of St. Luke: “These narrow-minded Christians are not able to see God’s kingdom present and with their comprehension in such events as Jesus’ cure of the unclean lepers and the grateful faith of a Samaritan (17:11-19), events that foreshadow the church’s mission to the Gentiles” [The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, p 709].
This part of Luke’s instruction is for the disciples who might grow weary in difficult times. They [and we] should remember that just as Jesus had to suffer, so too will those faithful disciples have to encounter suffering in their lives while they await the day when they are called to the Kingdom of God.
For humankind today we should listen to Jesus' message as used by St. Luke. The Kingdom of God is here among us. It is among us in the suffering of the poor and needy, the abused, the hurt, those struggling to know the Lord God, those who are in places where there is war, torture and revolution. We do not have to await the Kingdom of God ... it is among us. Do we have eyes and ears, hearts and minds that are open to seeing, to hearing and to knowing?