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WE ARE CALLED TO BUILD UP GOD'S KINGDOM ON EARTH

Father Francis's picture
Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

Jer. 26:1-9 & Mt. 13:54-58

When Jeremiah preached he had no idea that all of his work was really going to bear fruit in one person. Nor did he even suspect that there would be similarities between that person and himself. Had he known this, perhaps his mission would have seemed easier and his burden lighter.

That one person was, of course, Jesus Christ Who like Jeremiah preached a message of repentance, but with little of his harshness. His message was really overladen with love despite His meeting with rejection and rebuff as had Jeremiah.

Jesus was rejected by the people of His own town. But worse than rejection is to be accepted and then forsaken. We are people, not of Jesus' town, but of His Church. Through the faith granted us in Baptism, we have accepted Him and all that He has done for us. The Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is eager that we do not forget any of the great events of the life of Christ, events which are crucial to our salvation.

In our own lives we like to be remembered on birthdays and anniversaries. In the same way, throughout the course of the liturgical year, we are called to remember and to celebrate the great events of the life of Christ. To forget would be tragic - but to remember is beautiful.

We can go still further and wonder why now, 20 centuries after the events of the life of Jesus, He is still rejected by many. Perhaps by asking this question we reach a deeper level. The kingdom which Jesus preached and established has not yet come to full flowering. That will happen only when Jesus comes again in glory on the Last Day.

Meanwhile, we as people of faith stand between two moments of history, His first and second comings. An important mission which we have as members of the Church is to give witness to that kingdom of love and harmony where we all will be happy with God. Our witness to the world is intended to bring about a conviction that this kingdom is worthwhile, something to hope for and work towards. That is one reason why Christian love for each other is important. It is also why the love of God within us should be reflected in the joy of Christian living. Through our union with Christ we are called to build up His kingdom here on Earth.

Lord Jesus, may we rejoice in recalling to mind throughout the year the great events of Your life and, in doing this, may we strengthen our relationship with You.

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