Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.”
Then he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, ‘Look there!’ or ‘Look here!’ Do not go, do not set off in pursuit. For as the 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 endure much suffering and be rejected by this generation.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
During the past six months I have biked more than 2,000 miles, much of it commuting to work each day. It struck me one day that I see a lot of people who cannot walk by themselves. I see people with canes, walkers, and wheelchairs. Some have no legs at all. Others hobble or limp as they try to get across the street before the light changes. Still others are on stretchers, being taken from a nursing home to the hospital, perhaps for tests or physical therapy. Their conditions may be the result of birth, injury, war wounds, addiction, or physical neglect.
I have a saying, “I find God on the bike.” It is a paraphrase of the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel, “For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.” The Kingdom of God is found among those who cannot walk.
Not long after this realization, I had occasion to celebrate the wedding of Catherine and Chris. My words to them in the homily, borrowing from my experience, were: “Help others to walk. There you will find the Kingdom of God.”
Help a refugee walk back home. Help a migrant worker to walk a path to citizenship. Help a young student, living in poverty, to walk up to the stage at graduation from high school and college. Help those trapped in slavery to walk to freedom. Help a person who cannot walk to get across the street. For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.
—Ted Munz, S.J., Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits
Lord, sometimes the tasks of the day can feel a bit overwhelming. We can experience a fatigue that builds as the day moves forward. Maybe we need to step out of the daily grind. Unless we give ourselves permission to pause, to relax, to embrace your Spirit in the details of our day, we will be worn down.
We need to claim the reality that the Kingdom of God is among us. Suddenly that which seems so serious is put into perspective; that which evokes fear within us is calmed, and the gratitude that once delighted us is renewed. Lord, with great anticipation we move through this day, confident that your Kingdom will be experienced as we live for you and for those whose lives press against our own.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team