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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

Thy Kingdom Come

by Fr. David M. Knight


June 20, 2024:

Thursday of the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time 

Lectionary 368 

Sir 48:1-14/Mt 6:7-15

 


Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 48:1-15 continues the praise of “God's wisdom... as it is revealed through the history of God's people as seen in the lives of their patriarchs, prophets, priests and rulers.”

The Elijah, Sirach praises, was a violent man: he spoke words of fire: 


He brought famine on them, and decimated them in his zeal. By God's word he shut up the heavens and three times brought down fire.... dragging kings down to destruction, and high dignitaries from their sickbeds. [He] heard [God speaking] threats at Sinai, at Horeb avenging judgments. [He] anointed kings as avengers.... 


Nevertheless, he was “destined, in time to come, to put an end to wrath before the day of the LORD, To turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons, and to reestablish the tribes of Jacob.” 

Jesus said Elijah came again, but different, in John the Baptizer, about whom the angel prophesied: 


He will be filled with the Holy Spirit.... With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before [the Messiah], to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people for the Lord. 

John was not violent. In fact, he was delivered up to his enemies as a true “precursor”—forerunner and preview—of Jesus, who won by defeat and conquered only by love.


The zeal of mission: “Thy Kingdom come!” must be tempered by the self-effacing surrender of ministry: “Thy will be done.” Ministry must overflow with gentleness and love to be authentic. Jesus came “that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” In our every dealing with people we need to ask ourselves, “Am I being life-giving?” If not, we are not ministering as Christ.


Matthew 6:7-15 presents the Our Father as a list of priorities to embrace from the heart. These constitute the “five phases” of growth toward the “perfection of love” explained in these reflections. Since faith formation combines “re-iterated instruction with insistent intentionality”—that is, teaching the same things over and over while encouraging people to act on them—it is good to review them here: 


Our Father in heaven: cultivate awareness of being divine by grace. 

Hallowed be...: commit to discipleship,  

Thy Kingdom come!dedicate yourself to the mission of prophetic witness.

Thy will be done...: surrender to ministry as “priests in the Priest.” 

Give... Forgive: abandon all desires except for the “end time” we work for as faithful stewards of Christ’s kingship. 

 

Initiative: Be intentional about spiritual growth. Take planned steps. 


Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry




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