Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Daily - 11/11/09

Luke 17:20-25

20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, he answered them, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed;

21 nor will they say, `Lo, here it is!' or `There!' for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you."

22 And he said to the disciples, "The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and you will not see it.

23 And they will say to you, `Lo, there!' or `Lo, here!' Do not go, do not follow them.

24 For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of man be in his day.

25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

Note: in v21, when he says, "the kingdom of God is in the midst of you," other translations say "within you."

There are several things going on here. Christ is telling the Pharisees that he is IT, there is not going to be some Moses-style military deliverance. The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom, not a physical one. The Church on earth is the physical presence, but the power is all in the spirit.

He's also telling the disciples that the kingdom is within each and every one of us. If we have Christ, we have the kingdom inside of us. Here's how St. Cyril (doctor of the Church, 5th century) describes it:

CYRIL; Now it is only for the benefit of each individual that He says that which follows, For behold the kingdom of God is within you; that is, it rests with you and your own hearts to receive it. For every man who is justified by faith and the grace of God, and adorned with virtues, may obtain the kingdom of heaven. (Link: Catena Aurea - Luke 17 )

From there, he begins to tell the disciples face after He leaves them. More on that with tomorrow's reading.

PS - St. Cyril is a Doctor of the Church, and lived in the 4th - 5th centuries -- the same time as Jerome, Chrysostom, and Augustine. There's some intriguing history surrounding him if you're interested. (Link: Catholic Encyclopedia - St. Cyril of Alexandria )