Commentary on the Gospel of
Today’s Gospel reading is part of a response to a question from the Pharisees about when the kingdom of God would come. After Jesus responds to the Pharisees, “ . . . For Behold, the kingdom of God is among you.” He goes on to speak to his disciples in these verses.
In that context, these verses, these words of Jesus speak to me about being prepared/vigilant, keeping my eyes on Jesus and detachment.
If the kingdom of God is among us, what do I need to be prepared and vigilant for? I feel Jesus calling me to be prepared for how I am called, moment by moment, day by day, to be the Kingdom, to be Christ to my neighbor, to “love one another” as the reading from 2 John mentions. Ronald Rolheiser talks about this in his book The Holy Longing in his chapter, "Consequences of the Incarnation for Spirituality." He talks at length about how we are called through the Incarnation to put “skin to our prayer” and be Christ to the world. He says, “Spirituality . . . . is not a law to be obeyed, but a presence to be seized, undergone, and given flesh to.” This is what I think Jesus is calling us to be prepared and vigilant to do, to love one another through presence.
To do this, I need to keep my eyes on Jesus, to stay in relationship with him. I do this through prayer, meditation, contemplation and participation in the sacraments. Lastly, I also need to be prepared by being detached from my own stuff and agendas. God may call me to something or someplace else. For me, this was played out in my call to the retreat center. My husband and I were very happy in our house and faith community when we were called to sell our house and move to the retreat center. If I, or he, or we had held on to what we knew and where we were known and comfortable then we would have missed this opportunity to be Christ to others as part of the Griswold Iowa and Creighton communities.
Today I hear an invitation for us to reflect on how we are called to be Christ for others. Are our eyes focused on our relationship with Jesus or distracted by other things? And can we ask ourselves, “What am I attached to that would prevent me from answering God’s call?”