The ‘Kingdom of God’ is a reality in the making, not yet fulfilled. It is God’s Spirit in action in the world, growing like a seed without being noticed. Christians pray that this Kingdom may expand ever more and reach its fulfilment at the end of time.
PUBLISHED ONJul 2021
Number 590 of the Compendium of the Catholic Church asks: “What is it that the Church asks when praying, ‘Thy Kingdom come?’” This is the answer given: “The Church prays for the final coming of the Kingdom of God through Christ’s return in glory. The Church prays also that the Kingdom of God increase from now on through people’s sanctification in the Spirit and through their commitment to the service of justice and peace in keeping with the Beatitudes. This petition is the cry of the Spirit and the Bride: ‘Come, Lord Jesus’” (Revelation 22:20).
In the history of mankind there have been several kingdoms established through mere human initiative and power. We may think about the kingdom of Alexander the Great, the Roman Empire, the kingdom of Napoleon, etc. A wise reflection on those kingdoms makes us realize that no human power and no human alliance can create a world characterized by justice, peace and happiness.
We need to become aware of the presence of God’s Kingdom in the world, and to commit ourselves to its growth in the spirit of the many statements on God’s Kingdom present in the Gospel.
Number 2816 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The Kingdom of God lies ahead of us. It was brought near in the Word incarnate. It is proclaimed throughout the whole Gospel, and it has come in Christ’s death and resurrection. The Kingdom of God has been coming since the Last Supper and, in the Eucharist, it is in our midst. The Kingdom will come in glory when Christ will hand it over to his Father.”
All this clearly tells us that the Kingdom of God is in our midst and, as disciples of Jesus, we are called to seek the things of the Kingdom knowing that everything else will be given to us as a gift.
When we pray, ‘Thy kingdom come,’ we ask the Father to enable us to live in communion with all Christian communities, hoping that they may be channels of welcome and forgiveness, of mercy and salvation, of benevolent judgment and compassion, of joy, and Gospel transparency.
Strength Of The Spirit
Naturally, as we pray, we keep in mind our poverty and our fragility and we ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen us in order for us to be coherent with our prayer.
The world has already been saved, but so many people do not know this. As we pray, we have the world in our minds and in our hearts. We desire to live as people who are aware that we have been saved in Christ Jesus and are committed to manifest salvation.
Pope Francis has said: “Jesus has come, but the world is still marked by sin, inhabited by many people who suffer, by people who do not want to reconcile and do not forgive, by war and many forms of exploitation. Let us think about child trafficking, for example. All these facts are proofs that Christ’s victory has not yet been completely attained. ‘Thy Kingdom come!’Let us sow these words in the midst of our sins and our shortcomings. Let us give it to the people defeated and bent by life, to those who have tasted hatred more than love, those who have lived aimlessly without ever understanding why. Let us give it to those who have fought for justice, to all the martyrs of history, to those who have come to the conclusion that they have fought for nothing and that in this world evil will always dominate.”
We may ask ourselves: Why does God’s Kingdom come about so slowly? Pope Francis has answered this question precisely in these words: “God is patient. It is not through violence that the Kingdom is established in the world. Meekness is the means of propagation.”(cf. Matthew 13:24-30)
As we may wonder about the evils afflicting us and all people throughout the world, as we may wonder about the slow growth of God’s Kingdom, let us listen to the voice of the Lord saying, “I am coming soon” and let us say: “Come Lord Jesus.” We proclaim this in the name of every person Jesus loves endlessly.