Mark 1:14-15 – After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
The Proclamation of the Kingdom is a call for all of us that requires our whole hearts. Jesus steps into each of our lives as He did with the apostles at the beginning of His ministry. He steps out of the boat for each of us, with a call to follow Him. This idea continues to scare and amaze me all at the same time. How is it that Jesus can desire me so intensely that He asks me to give up everything and follow Him? Even though this seems so unfathomable, it is true for everyone. Jesus steps out of the boat for each of us and calls us to follow Him. He calls us to repent, believe in the gospel, and spread the good news. By responding to His call we take our own place in Jesus’ ministry and work in the hearts of others.
Now, if the Kingdom of God were some figurative idea that was simply there to give us hope, we may think that Jesus is not actually calling us to give up EVERYTHING for Him, but this is not the case. If Jesus were just talking in figurative terms we would act in a way that kept the Lord in our hearts, but allowed us to continue the rest of our time in the “real world.” Instead, we are called to give up the “real world” and follow Jesus because the Kingdom of God is very real and extremely important in our lives and in our salvation. In Matthew 14:45-46 Jesus says, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.” Would you sell everything you had if it was not the most important thing in the world? If you did not need to obtain it at all costs? The Kingdom of God is even more valuable than a fine pearl! We are called to give up everything for the Kingdom of God. Jesus meets us where we are and asks us to give up everything in order to follow Him.
The final important aspect to take note of when studying and reflecting this Luminous Mystery is that the Kingdom of God is not of this world. John 18:36 says, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.” As tempting as this world seems some days, we need to remember that Jesus is ultimately leading us to another life. We finally experience the true light of Jesus in heaven. I find myself on a daily basis struggling to remember that we are made for more. The temptation of sin starts to seem so desirable that I forget about my call to the Kingdom of God. In these moments I am always brought back and humbled with the realization that the Lord is calling me and everyone else to more. This world will never be enough, but it is our job to give hope to this world for things to come.
Reflect: How are you being called to serve in the Kingdom of God?
Reflect: Who is the Lord calling you to be and how can you continue to move forward in living out that call?
Act: Be someone else’s good news today. Shine the light of the Lord on to all those who you come in contact with you and help them to realize their own personal call from the Lord.