Scripture Reflection for Sunday, January 25, 2015
This week’s second reading (1 COR 7:29:31), offers a good example of Paul’s eschatological (end time) worldview of the immanent return of Christ, which will usher in the new age. There are many people even today waiting for the second coming of Christ. (Workbook for Lectors and Gospel Reader’s and Proclaimers of the Word)
In the Gospel (MK 1:15) Mark tells us: “This is a time of fulfillment. The kingdom is at hand. Repent and believe…” This suggests to me that the return of Christ is an individual spiritual experience. When I repent (rethink) and believe, I enter into the Kingdom (not a community experience). In the Our Father we say: “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We are asking for the Kingdom of God to be present for us where we are right now. If that prayer can be answered and realized it can only be experienced individually. In heaven or the Kingdom, love rules all interactions.
What attitude would you have to have to experience heaven on earth? Would it be a hope so trusting, a faith so strong and a love, so total that fear is eliminated? I have asked several people the following question: “Do you think your fear would be eliminated if you could believe everything Jesus taught?” Most people answer, “Yes”. My experience is that the only time I feel fear is when my faith is challenged and found wanting. I used to be afraid of flying. I am not now. Trust is what eliminated that fear. I have faced life threatening operations and illness without fear. Faith is what did that for me.
It is my belief and my experience that a mind-set dominated by attitudes of love, faith and hope will bring me to the experience of heaven on earth.
C.G. Young talked about the collective consciousness of man. Is there such a thing as the collective consciousness of the saints?
In the gospel of Thomas, paragraph 113. “His students said to him when will the Kingdom come? Jesus said, “It will not come because you are watching for it. No one will announce ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘Look there it is!”’ The Father’s Kingdom is spread out upon the earth and people do not see it.”
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.