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Newsletter – 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year B.

JESUS

TAKE FIVE FOR FAITH –
WORD OF THE WEEK

Kingdom of God
Also, the reign of God or kingdom of heaven is the spiritual realm over which God reigns, which transcends time and space. It is a central element in Jesus’ teaching.

CONTEXT
As we live in anticipation of the fullness of the Kingdom, we have a responsibility to create a world more in keeping with the values of the reign of God. —Helen Doohan
The kingdom of God is where our best dreams come from and our truest prayers. We glimpse it at those moments when we find ourselves being better than we are and wiser than we know.
—Frederick Buechner

WHY IT MATTERS
Ancient Israel held hope in an eternal and universal restoration of David’s kingship. Mark, Matthew, and Luke all emphasise the Kingdom’s arrival as Jesus’ principal teaching. Jesus proclaims the Kingdom by preaching and forgiving sins, casting out demons, and restoring the dead to life. Signs of the Kingdom include restored vision, hearing, mobility, good news for the poor, and much more. The Kingdom requires believers to be fully free, alert, and ready to move at the Spirit’s prompting.
From Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World): “After we have obeyed the Lord, and in his Spirit nurtured the values of human dignity, brotherhood, and freedom, we will find them again when Christ hands over to the Father ‘a Kingdom of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, love and peace.’ On this earth, that Kingdom is already present in mystery. When the Lord returns, it will be brought into full flower.”

RELATED WORDS
Signs | Messianic king | Son of David | City of God

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

What does “Kingdom of God” mean?
The kingdom of God isn’t merely “heaven”—it’s not just where we go when we die. It’s not just a place. Kingdom refers to God’s rule. Jesus refers to the Kingdom as “among” us and “within” us—always within reach. We don’t “get there” so much as abide in it where we are. We participate in the Kingdom in various ways: changing our hearts, working toward justice, protecting the vulnerable, and freeing the burdened. We pray for the Kingdom to come in the Lord’s Prayer.
Jesus offers stories and metaphors for understanding the Kingdom: a sower, a mustard seed, a treasure, a banquet. Matthew’s gospel references the Kingdom almost 50 times. John’s gospel makes clear that the Kingdom isn’t territory to be gained. It’s where peace rules and oppression ends. No political system or social program can establish God’s rule. We can’t make “Kingdom come” by our own efforts. Yet we’re summoned to enter more fully into the Kingdom by reshaping society to conform to its values.

—Alice Camille, from Questions Catholics Ask:

REFLECTION OF THE WEEK

ELEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (JUNE 16)
How the mustard seed has spiced up spiritual life
The tiny mustard seed adds flavour to many foods and religious stories. We are familiar with the gospel parable of the mustard seed, which Jesus used as a model for the kingdom of God. Jewish texts compared the knowable universe to the size of a mustard seed to teach humility. The Quran states that no soul will suffer the least injustice on the Day of Judgment because even the equivalent of a mustard seed will be accounted for on God’s scales of justice.

Readings: Exodus 17:22-24; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10; Mark 4:26-34 (92:

FAITH IN ACTION
The next time you open a jar of mustard, pause and ponder the lessons it has taught.

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