Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Let the Light of Your Faith Shine

Let's continue with the gospel appointed for today's liturgy and Chapter One --We Look for a Kingdom-- of Cardinal Wuerl's new publication.  Surely a significant difficulty for Roman Catholics as well as other mainline creeds is the world "kingdom."  Nothing could be further from our experience.  Kingdom?  We don't deal with "kingdom" in a democracy!  Perhaps our lack of familiarity with both the word and its meaning has somewhat diluted the theological importance of the word in what is a most treasured prayer: the Our Father ... thy kingdom come!"  Even Blessed John Paul II developed a fourth category of mysteries for reflection while saying the Rosary one of which is the Proclamation of the Kingdom.

When Jesus inaugurated his public ministry much of his teaching was related to the Kingdom of God.  Likewise the major new Testament writers, the Cardinal points out, are captivated by Jesus' preaching about the kingdom.  So, what is it Christians, especially we of the Roman Catholic community, seem to have lost the significance of the kingdom.

We know from our reading and our hearing read Jesus' words about the kingdom, how important a part of his message it was and continues to be.  So strong were Jesus' words that worldly leaders were on the alert when Jesus would preach about God's kingdom.  Cardinal Wuerl is strong as well:  "God's kingdom is serious business.  It still is."

Perhaps our reticence springs from our lack of familiarity with the topic.  Again, this Advent might be the moment God is calling you and/or me not to back away from challenge to our faith.  This means personal renewal or simply personal learning.

Again we are called to speak out for our faith ... now is the time.  The Gospels call each of us to recognize that "the kingdom of God is important in our lives."  This is a part of our mission in the world today.  The question might be:  how do I reflect the light of Christ among those who know me?