Father Stefan reflects on Pope Francis ‘Joy of the Gospel’ The Kingdom and its challenge

Pope Francis writes, “Reading the Scriptures also makes it clear that the Gospel is not merely about about personal relationship with God, Nor should our loving response to God be seen simply as an accumulation of small personal gestures to individuals in need, a kind of ‘charity a’ la carte’  or a series of acts aimed solely at easing our conscience. The gospel is about the Kingdom of God.(Lk 4;43) it is about loving God who reigns in our world. To the extent that he reigns within us, the life of society will be a setting for universal fraternity, justice, peace, and dignity. Both Christian preaching an life, are meant to have an impact on society. We are seeking God’s kingdom: ‘seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’ (Mt 6:33) Jesus’ mission is to inaugurate the kingdom of his Father; he commands his disciples to proclaim the good new that, ‘the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'(Mt 10:7)

Pope Benedict in his book, ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ write this about the Kingdom of God, ” Jesus is the Kingdom of God in person. The Kingdom of God is present wherever he is present. By the same token, the request for a listening heart becomes a request for communion with Jesus Christ, the petition that we increasingly become ‘one’ with him. (Gal 3:28) What is requested in this petition is the true following of Christ, which becomes communion with him and makes us one body with him….To pray for the Kingdom of God is to say to Jesus: Let us be your, Lord! Pervade us, live in us; gather scattered humanity in your body, so that in you everything many be subordinated to God and you can then hand over the universe to the Father, in order that ‘God may be all in all.'”(1 Cor 15:28)

Pope Francis writes, “It is no longer possible to claim that religion should be restricted to the private sphere and that it exists only to prepare souls for heaven. We know that God wants his children to be happy in this world too, even though they are called to fulfillment in eternity, for he has created all things, ‘for our enjoyment’ (1 Tim 6:17), the enjoyment of everyone.”

The Kingdom of God is at hand. This means that we are already meant to experience the joys of heaven here on Earth. Miracles are signs of the Kingdom of God  In heaven all will be healed. The Father in heaven wants us to happy in this life and supremely happy in the next life. 

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