Fr. Mike’s Homily for Thursday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I

Fr. Mike’s Homily for Thursday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I

Theme: The coming of the Kingdom of God

By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

Homily for Thursday November 11 2021

Fr. Mike’s Homily for Thursday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I

Theme: The coming of the Kingdom of God

By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

 

Homily for Thursday November 11 2021

Lk 17:20-25

Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he said in reply, “The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the kingdom of God is among you.”
Then he said to his disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. There will be those who will say to you, ‘Look, there he is,’ [or] ‘Look, here he is.’ Do not go off, do not run in pursuit. For just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be [in his day]. But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.

We are coming close to the end of the liturgical year. Hence, the theme of the Gospel during these days is eschatological. We are invited to ponder upon the last things: death, resurrection, final judgment, heaven, hell, purgatory, and the Second Coming of Our Lord. This is a call to readiness and vigilance. Our Lord predicts that many people would come and mislead His disciples, especially regarding the coming of the Lord and His kingdom: “There will be those who will say to you, ‘Look, there he is,’ [or] ‘Look, here he is.’” So, He warns: “Do not go off, do not run in pursuit.”

The devil always aims to foment disunity by sowing lies, confusion, doubts, and fear. So, Jesus exhorts the people to cast out all fear and doubts, and strive to maintain their peace and unity. As regards the coming of the kingdom or reign of God, the Lord insists that “the kingdom of God is among you.”

This is because, in the first place, the kingdom of God is the very person of Jesus. He is the embodiment of God’s reign. Origen of Alexandria (ca 184-254) coined the word “autobasileia” to describe Jesus, that is, “the kingdom in person.” Wherever Jesus is, there is the kingdom of God.

All through the ages, people have been so preoccupied with trying to pinpoint the exact date of the second coming of Christ. In fact, even among the early Christians, many were convinced that Jesus would make His final coming in their own lifetime. This longing becomes more intense especially during times of severe persecution. So, they were just waiting idly. This prompted St. Paul to issue a stern warning that “if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat” (2Thess 3:10).

But by the time Luke’s gospel was written, most of that first generation of Christians had died and there was still no sign of Jesus’ coming. As Jesus predicted before, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.”

The Gospel today, therefore, reminds us that instead of anxiously waiting for the coming of the Lord, trying to determine the exact time, we should rather be intent on doing two things, which we mention in the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” So, the first thing to do is to pray for the coming of God’s kingdom. But it is not enough. This should be accompanied by our faithful obedience to the will of the heavenly Father. The fact is that, when people reflect in their lives the values that Jesus taught, when they fully obey the will of God, the Kingdom is present there.

During these days, we see a lot of calamities and disasters of cataclysmic proportions. And people are afraid and in panic. This is precisely what the devil likes. But these events, no matter how unfortunate, are not meant to frighten us. These are simply part of our life in this world. Instead, we look at these as reminders that the world is imperfect and limited. Hence, these also serve as warning so that we may take our preparations and vigilance seriously. As St. Paul urges us, we must work out our salvation “with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12).

The reign of God is already here among us, for Jesus is with us while we strive our utmost to fulfill God’s will. But the exact time of the final coming of the Lord, when He will grant us ultimate victory over evil and sufferings, is not for us to decide nor be anxious about. We just content ourselves with the fact that in the end, victory is ours in Jesus our Lord: “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33).

Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

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