Pope at Santa Marta: The Kingdom of God within us
(Vatican Radio) The Kingdom of God is growing every day thanks to those who witness without making any “noise”, praying and living their faith in the family, at work, in communities, said Pope Francis at morning Mass, Thursday in Casa Santa Marta.
In the silence of a home, where there may only be 50 cents left until the end of the month, but where there is always prayer, care for children and grandparents, there is the Kingdom of God. Far from the noise of the crowd, because the Kingdom of God “does not attract attention” in the same way a seed that grows underground does not attract [attention].
Pope Francis based his homily on the Gospel of the Day from St. Luke, where asked by the Pharisees ‘when the Kingdom of God would come’, Jesus replies: a day will come when they will say to you “there he is”, or ‘here he is’; do not go, do not follow them”. Pope Francis said : “The Kingdom of God is not a spectacle. The spectacle is often a caricature of the Kingdom of God “:
“A spectacle! The Lord never says that the Kingdom of God is a spectacle. It is a celebration! But that is different. Certainly it is a beautiful celebration. A great celebration. And Heaven will be a celebration, but not a spectacle. However, our human weakness prefers the spectacle”.
Pope Francis continued noting that celebrations are often transformed into spectacles – weddings for example – where people seem more intent on putting on a “fashion show, being seen, vanity” rather than receiving the Sacrament. Instead “the Kingdom of God is silent, it grows inside. The Holy Spirit nourishes it through our willingness, in our land, which we have to prepare”. Then, quoting the words of Jesus, the Pope said the day will come when the Kingdom will be manifest in all its power, but it will only be the end of time:
“The day when he will make noise, he will flash like lightening, lighting up the sky from one side to the other. So shall the Son of man be on his day, the day that he will make noise. And when one thinks of the perseverance of many Christians, who struggle to raise their family – men, women – who care for children, care for grandparents and arrive at the end of the month with only half a euro, but who pray. There is the Kingdom of God, hidden, in the holiness of daily life, every day holiness. Because the Kingdom of God is not far from us, it is near! This is one of its features: it is close to us everyday”.
Pope Francis continued that even when he describes his return in a display of glory and power, Jesus immediately adds that “first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation”. The Pope noted this means that “even suffering, the Cross, the cross of everyday life – the cross of work, family, to carry on doing good things – this small daily cross is part of the Kingdom of God”.
Pope Francis concluded by inviting all to ask the Lord for the grace “to nurture the kingdom of God that is within us” with “prayer, worship, service of charity, silently”:
“The Kingdom of God is humble, like the seed: humble but it becomes great by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is up to us to to let it grow in us, without boasting about it: let the Spirit come, change our soul and carry us forward in silence, in peace, in tranquility, in closeness to God, to others, in worship of God, without spectacle”.