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THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Friday, 29th Week of the Year, October 26, 2012
Eph. 4:1-6, Ps. 23, Luke 12:54-59


"You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time" (Luke 12:56).


Interpreting the present time is of greatest importance. This is "the time of your visitation" (Luke 19:44), the time of salvation. The Jews knew how to interpret the weather, when it would rain or be fair-something of relatively little importance-but they did not know how to interpret the signs of their time, that it was the time of the definitive visitation of God for the salvation of the world.


Jesus' miracles and exorcisms were the signs of the time of God visitation. They indicated that the kingdom of God had come in Jesus, the kingdom of peace without limit on earth (Isa. 9:7), the kingdom that would have no end (Luke 1:33), the kingdom of heavenly peace, about which the angels sang at his birth: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14 KJV).


We too need to interpret this time of salvation that came upon the earth in Jesus Christ. He is the Messiah, and since his birth we live in the Messianic age, the age of fulfillment, the time of grace and salvation. Indicating that his exorcisms show that the kingdom of God had come in himself, Jesus said, "If it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God as come upon you" (Matt. 12:28). His exorcisms indicated the kingdom's arrival. He began his preaching by saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel" (Mark 1:15). A new age dawned with his coming to the earth, the age of salvation, the age of fulfillment; and we are called to repent and believe in the good news of God's salvation now made available in Jesus Christ.


When the disciples of John the Baptist asked Jesus, "Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?" (Matt. 11:3), Jesus pointed to his miracles as the signs indicating that he indeed is the one (Matt. 11:5-6). So "blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it" (Matt. 13:16-17). "Behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you," Jesus said (Luke 17:21). Indeed, in Jesus Christ the kingdom of God is in our midst. It is here on earth in him.


By faith we can now live in the kingdom of God on earth, a kingdom of heavenly peace and light (John 8:12). In Christ's death and resurrection we have the forgiveness of our sins, the removal of our guilt, and eternal salvation. Christ paid the price of our salvation by his death on the cross, suffering our just punishment for our sins, satisfying the just requirement of the law for us (Gal. 3:13; Rom. 8:3-4), serving our death sentence on our behalf, so that at his resurrection we too might rise with him to walk in his light, which we now do through faith (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12; 3:1-2; John 8:12). This is living in the kingdom of God on earth, and in this way Christ makes us a new creation (2 Cor. 5, 17).

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