The challenge for today’s Christian is not to just know about Jesus, but rather to know Jesus. Jesus preached about what is called “The Kingdom of God.” Another way to understand this term would be to say God’s mindset – God’s desire for how he wants the world to be. Anyone in the Catholic faith that is given the honor to preach to God’s people is to preach this Kingdom of God. Those who preach need to know Jesus and what he desired to showed the world.
Jesus would say the Kingdom of God is at hand, yet not fully here just yet. This means that when humanity accepts the ways of God, which is always different from our worldly opinions, the Kingdom of God breaks through. We see it in our lives when people live as we ought to live, which God has revealed to us.
What do we know about Jesus? His teachings, miracles, stories and actions constantly show us how he breaks down barriers that separate people from God and each other. When one knows Jesus rather than just knowing about Jesus, one can clearly see the lengths that Jesus went to remove barriers placed by humans: healing to those excluded from community because of perceived sins, speaking to and seeing great faith in the enemies of the Jewish people, Jesus was angry that the Temple ways were blocking access for the poor, he spoke to women, foreigners, Roman soldiers – the examples just keep going.
So, let’s understand what every Christian should know: Jesus does not want barriers placed anywhere. To not see this is being blind and ignorant of the Kingdom of God. The quote from Pope Francis above is the message that every preacher in the Church must proclaim. This is not his own opinion or ideology. Pope Benedict, Pope John Paul the II, Pope Paul VI, Pope John XXIII have all stated the same idea of welcoming the stranger, removing barriers, walls and attitudes that divide all of God’s people.
I would invite all parishioners who have somehow decided that the wall between this country and Mexico is the best solution, to reevaluate the actions of Jesus. No one can dispute Jesus’ clear intention and motives, yet there seems to be a belief that Christians believe it is best to raise a barrier.
Scriptures, Catholic theology, the Pope’s preaching, the Universal Catholic Church, all point to a way of life that does not find peace and security in walls, barriers and division. The Kingdom of God is God’s mindset of how things really ought to be.
Peace in Christ,