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Anticipating the Kingdom

We are a people who have been promised inheritance and life; we are “heirs of the same promise” made to Abraham. We have, therefore, put our hope in God: “Our soul waits for the Lord,” who will come when we least expect him.

But our waiting is not passive; we are to keep our belts tightened and our lamps burning “like men awaiting their master’s return from a wedding.” So when the command comes to “be watchful and ready,” it means for us to go about “putting into effect with one accord the divine institution.”

Waiting for Christ to return means working for the coming of the Kingdom of God. It means combatting poverty; ending the hatreds that divide us; establishing peace among individuals, within families, in society, and among the nations of the world; curbing the pride that causes us to become confrontational with God and with each other; building social structures that respect the dignity of individual humans.

Abraham obeyed when he was called: let us obey the call to prepare the world for the coming of Christ.

The church well knows that no temporal achievement is to be identified with the kingdom of God, but that all such achievements simply reflect and in a sense anticipate the glory of the kingdom, the kingdom which we await at the end of history when the Lord will come again. But that expectation can never be an excuse for lack of concern for people in their concrete personal situations and in their social, national and international life.

Pope John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis1987: 48

Gerald Darring
Now published in book form, To Love and Serve: Lectionary Based Meditations, by Gerald Darring This entire three year cycle is available at
Art by Martin (Steve) Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C). This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go