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The coming of the Kingdom of God

Gospel reading: Lk 17:20-25
Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus said in reply, “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.” Then he said to his disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. There will be those who will say to you, ‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’ Do not go off, do not run in pursuit. For just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”

THE KINGDOM OF GOD
The synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) present Jesus as proclaiming the Kingdom of God. Jesus does this when he preaches the good news to the poor, heals the sick, and casts out demons. On the other hand, the gospel of John focuses on the person of Jesus. The expression “Kingdom of God” never appears in John. When the Pharisees ask Jesus when Kingdom of God will come, Jesus answers that no one knows. It cannot be predicted. But for sure, he says, “The Kingdom of God is among you.” It is mysterious. So if someone says it is here or there or claims to know exactly when it will come, we should not believe. Some people or groups may claim to possess such knowledge. They may further fool us by saying that to be included in God’s Kingdom, we must join their group. This is totally unscriptural and dishonest. No one here on earth knows the end of the world. Christians must be wary about those people and discern what we can do to prepare or facilitate the coming of God’s Kingdom. When we repent of our sins, exercise fraternal charity, and do mission work, like proclaiming God’s love to the poor, we belong to God’s Kingdom.

Do you easily believe the claims of other Christian groups?

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SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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