the mercy seat found in the Ark
the New Covenant
“How beautiful are the feet of those
who preach the gospel of peace…”
At first blush,
Proclamation of the Kingdom
may -seem- to be a somewhat
expansive mystery upon which to meditate.
This assumption would be correct,
as this particular mystery covers the
Christ’s public ministry,
even more so, the
entirety of Christ’s humanity.
mystery of the Incarnation,
proclaims the Kingdom of God
and beckons us
to share in the
light of the living Word.
The very first words that Our Lord utters in the
of Mark proclaim this
"This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God
is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the
Although there is no exact historical timeline that aligns all four Gospels, this moment of proclamation in Mark’s Gospel was made at the
Christ’s public ministry in Galilee.
Even before He performed many public miracles,
by which word of Him spread far and wide,
“kingdom of God is at hand,”
He, who is God,
has come as
ruler over all.
Proclaiming this at such a moment during His ministry draws our attention to the consideration that His sovereignty in the Kingdom is not wholly defined by His wondrous miracles or His vibrant words, but that these things blossom from
of love that is His humanity;
that He is the
‘Word made flesh Who dwelt among us’
(cf. John 1:14)
and it was in condescending to our humanity that
Christ fully proclaims the Kingdom of God;
it is in this act of love that He invites us to change ourselves and
embrace His gospel of peace.
In the letter to the Romans,
proclaims the wondrous mission
living out Christ’s teachings
the joyful news of His love:
are the feet of them
gospel of peace,
glad tidings of good things!”
is referring to the
very same gospel
Christ preached to His disciples.
During His earthly life, Our Lord,
as the second person of the
acted in the fullness of God,
with the Holy Spirit and the Father,
proclaim this peace:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
he has anointed me to bring glad tidings
to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free, and to
proclaim a year
acceptable to the Lord.”
These words of Christ
encapsulate the gospel of peace
that was preached by
thought, act, and spoken word.
In mediating on the whole of Christ’s life, we come to see that He proclaimed His kingdom by simply living His Divine life here on earth.
He lived to the
fullest the greatest commandments that He preached:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” and “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
This is the fullness of the Christian life!
It is in following Christ’s example that we are called to change ourselves and conform ourselves evermore to Christ
in order to live out this gospel of peace.
Particularly in the struggles that plague our world today, we are called to follow Christ’ example and go out as
"sheep in the midst of wolves’ to proclaim the gospel of peace with our lives. (cf. Matt. 10:16)
Therefore, let us go forth and share the good news of the Gospel; let us go forth and share the good news of Christ!
“A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit”
After His Baptism, St. Mark recounts that Jesus “came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: … ‘
The kingdom of God is at hand.
believe in the Gospel’”
The word which we translate as “repent” in Greek is “metanoeite,” or “metanoia” – according to Merriam Webster, this
transformative change of heart”
So when Our Lord calls us to repent, He does not call us to mend just our ways, but our whole way of being. He does not call us to mere ritual observance of the rules of the Old Covenant, but to a complete change of heart. He calls us to beat our breasts and, like a tax collector, say, “O God, be merciful to me, a sinner” (Lk 18:13). Our hearts of stone must break and must be turned back to our Father – as the Lord says through the prophet Malachi “return to Me, that I may return to you” (Mal 3:7).
For “the kingdom of God is at hand” but it “is not a matter of food and drink, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the holy Spirit”
(Mk 1:15, Rom 14:17).
What St. Paul means is that the Kingdom of God is not a matter of keeping ritual laws, but of having new hearts – of love of God and faith in the Son, which leads us to keep His commandments, for “whoever loves me will keep my word” (Jn 14:23).
It is obedience that the Father wants, after the image of His son, who
“though He was in the form of
God did not regard equality with God something to be grasped”
This is a change from the decay of sin in our hearts which leads us to pride and disobedience, that we might wish to become “like gods”
Only in this way – by a complete change of heart and willing obedience to the Father’s Will – can we live as children of light.
We are often overwhelmed by the darkness of the world, but we cannot overcome it on our own. “Thoughts and prayers” are not enough to overcome the darkness. This is not because prayer is insufficient, but because our “thoughts,” no matter how well-intentioned, have no potency in themselves.
Where do our thoughts take us but back into our own sinfulness?
Our problem is not that we pray too often, but that we do not pray enough, for it is God alone Who, by His grace, can “create a clean heart for [us]” (Ps 51:12). “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (Lk 18:14). “So strengthen your drooping hands and weak knees;” “repent and believe in the Gospel” (Heb 12:12, Mk 1:15).
Only in this way – through humbly coming to God through His Church and His sacraments – can the Kingdom of God be inaugurated in our hearts and we finally live as children of the light.