Feast of Jesus Christ Universal King.
Those of us who live in the north eastern corner of Ireland recently witnessed the death of a monarch Elizabeth 11 and witnessed her son succeeding her as King Charles 111. Those who saw every second of the coverage of this event on television with all its pomp and ceremony are in no doubt that this is not the kingship that Jesus proclaimed in his conversation with Pilate.
‘You say you are a king’
‘My kingdom is not of this world.’
From this we are very clear what it is not but how do we understand what it is. The search for understanding begins.
When Albert Nolan died recently I spent a few quiet days remembering him and as I did my thoughts turned to another great Dominican Gustavo Gutiérrez and the Liberation Theology which inspired those of us who worked in South America. There we saw the Kingdom of God in action. Small communities coming together to live their lives through the lens of the gospel and show us the difference it made. In a rural outback in the North of Argentina the understanding begins to emerge.
Recently, in Clonard monastery we heard the story of the diminutive Zacchaeus whom Jesus spotted up a tree. The homilist said,
Jesus revealed Zaccheus
Jesus recognised him for who he really was
Jesus released him to proclaim the Kingdom of God.
So the Kingdom of God was proclaimed through this man despised because of his job. Can we do what Jesus did there?
As I continue my search for the understanding of the Kingdom of God, I decided to quickly jot down what came to mind and I invite you to do the same.
The Kingdom of God is,
In our midst
In the life of Albert Nolan
In the Liberation Theology of Gustave Gutierrez
In the generosity of those who have nothing
In disguise in the buried mustard seed
In the broken hearts of the bereaved
In the city of Kherson
In the heart of refugees who come to our shores because the place they called home is no longer safe.
In the heart of those who seem least likely
In care of the earth
And finally, when I chose the motto to be inscribed on my Profession ring I settled on ‘Thy Kingdom Come.’
The search continues.
Sr. Kathleen Fitzsimons OP