Take Five Weekly | This Week 16 June 2024

16 Jun 2024
WORD OF THE WEEK
Kingdom of God
\‘king-dəm ’əv ‘gäd\

Also, reign of God or kingdom of heaven. The spiritual realm over which God reigns, which transcends time and space. A central element to the teaching of Jesus.

CONTEXT

As we live in anticipation of the fullness of the Kingdom, we have a responsibility to create a world more in keeping with the values of the reign of God. —Helen Doohan

The kingdom of God is where our best dreams come from and our truest prayers. We glimpse it at those moments when we find ourselves being better than we are and wiser than we know.
—Frederick Buechner

WHY IT MATTERS

Ancient Israel held hope in an eternal and universal restoration of the kingship of David. Mark, Matthew, and Luke all emphasize the Kingdom's arrival as the principal teaching of Jesus. Jesus proclaims the Kingdom in his preaching and in forgiving sins, casting out demons, and restoring the dead to life. Signs of the Kingdom include restored vision, hearing, mobility, good news for the poor, and much more. The Kingdom requires believers to be fully free, alert, and ready to move at the Spirit's prompting.

From Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World): “After we have obeyed the Lord, and in his Spirit nurtured the values of human dignity, brotherhood, and freedom, we will find them again when Christ hands over to the Father ‘a Kingdom of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, love and peace.’ On this earth that Kingdom is already present in mystery. When the Lord returns it will be brought into full flower.”

RELATED WORDS

Signs | Messianic king | Son of David | City of God

QUESTION OF THE WEEK
What does "Kingdom of God" mean?

The kingdom of God isn't "heaven”—that is, it's not where we go when we die. It's not even a place. Kingdom refers to God's rule. Jesus refers to the Kingdom as "among" us and "within" us—always within reach. We don't "get there" so much as abide in it where we are. We participate in the Kingdom in various ways: changing our hearts, working toward justice, protecting the vulnerable, and freeing the burdened. We pray for the Kingdom to come in the Lord's Prayer.

Jesus offers stories and metaphors for understanding the Kingdom: a sower, a mustard seed, a treasure, a banquet. Matthew's gospel references the Kingdom almost 50 times. John's gospel makes clear that the Kingdom isn't territory to be gained. It's where peace rules and oppression ends. No political system or social program can establish God's rule. We can't make "Kingdom come" by our own efforts. Yet we're summoned to enter more fully into the Kingdom by reshaping society to conform to its values.

—Alice Camille, from Questions Catholics Ask

REFLECTION OF THE WEEK
ELEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (JUNE 16)
How the mustard seed has spiced up spiritual life

The tiny mustard seed adds flavor not only to a lot of foods but also to a number of religious stories. We are familiar with the gospel parable of the mustard seed, which Jesus used as a model for the kingdom of God. To teach humility Jewish texts compared the knowable universe to the size of a mustard seed. And the Quran states that no soul will suffer the least injustice on the Day of Judgment because even the equivalent of a mustard seed will be accounted for on God’s scales of justice.

Readings:

Ezekiel 17:22-24; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10; Mark 4:26-34 (92)

:

“To what shall we compare the kingdom of God? It is like a mustard seed.”

FAITH IN ACTION

The next time you open a jar of mustard, pause for a moment and ponder the lessons it has taught.

REFLEXIÓN DE LA SEMANA
UNDÉCIMO DOMINGO DEL TIEMPO ORDINARIO (16 DE JUNIO)
Cómo la semilla de mostaza ha condimentado la vida espiritual

La pequeña semilla de mostaza añade sabor no sólo a muchos alimentos sino también a varias historias religiosas. Conocemos la parábola evangélica del grano de mostaza, que Jesús utilizó como modelo para el reino de Dios. Para enseñar humildad, los textos judíos comparaban el universo cognoscible con el tamaño de una semilla de mostaza. Y el Corán afirma que ningún alma sufrirá la más mínima injusticia en el Día del Juicio porque incluso el equivalente a una semilla de mostaza se contabilizará en la balanza de la justicia de Dios.

Lecturas:

Ezequiel 17:22-24; 2 Corintios 5:6-10; Marcos 4:26-34 (92)

:

“¿Con qué compararemos el Reino de Dios? Es como una semilla de mostaza”.

FE EN ACCIÓN

La próxima vez que abras un frasco de mostaza, haz una pausa por un momento y reflexiona sobre las lecciones que te ha enseñado.