The Lord of the hearts

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Lk 17:20-25

Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was to come, he gave them this answer, ‘The coming of the kingdom of God does not admit of observation and there will be no one to say, “Look, it is here! Look, it is there!” For look, the kingdom of God is among you.’ He said to the disciples, ‘A time will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of man and will not see it. They will say to you, “Look, it is there!” or, “Look, it is here!” Make no move; do not set off in pursuit; for as the lightning flashing from one part of heaven lights up the other, so will be the Son of man when his Day comes. But first he is destined to suffer grievously and be rejected by this generation.

The Kingdom of God, every day we pray for it. This kingdom has a king – and a queen. We know them all: it is the Lord himself and his gracious mother, whom we honor as Queen.

In the Catholic Church there is a kind of coronation ceremony on statues of the Lord or the Mother of God. This may be strange to outsiders and may be one of those things that can appear as a peculiar religious practice, perhaps even to people within the Church!

But if you get through to the actual understanding, you will understand it better: it is to proclaim the Kingdom of Christ and express this visibly by crowning a statue or by a special consecration!

Such an act must, of course, be accompanied by a corresponding inner attitude, for the kingship of the Lord does not come by external gestures. It has already come in the Lord, and all who follow Him are called to follow His ways. Not only do we bow our knees before the Lord – a gesture befitting a true king – but we give him our heart!

The Kingdom of Christ, as Jesus testified before Pilate himself, is not of this world (cf. Jn 18:36), and Jesus did not command his disciples to drive out the Romans with weapons so that he might be crowned king.

The Lord taught his disciples the way of love and truth. Whoever realises this already lives in the Kingdom of God, and when God enters into our hearts and reigns there, the Kingdom of God is already established. If this would also happen with the “kings of the earth”, then the earthly conditions would also be penetrated more and more by the spirit of this kingdom. If the message of God would reach mankind and they would be converted accordingly, then the Kingdom of God would spread more and more and God would be worshipped as the true King. What a wonderful perspective!

Granted, it is not like that in this world, nor will we be able to build a paradise on earth. But it remains our mission as redeemed people to bear witness to the King of Hearts, because nothing in its depths people long for more than a father who truly loves them.

Thus we have the responsibility to make this kingdom experienceable for people through our love! Let us remember: One of the great signs of recognition of Christians for the pagan world was the love that the Christians in the early church had for each other.

Jesus will visibly return at the end of time. We have to wait for him and not run after anyone who thinks he can establish a Kingdom of God on earth. All these attempts have often failed bloody, and the Antichrist at the end of times will probably try to imitate the real kingdom. Perhaps he tries to establish a united kind of religion – a kind of “one-world religion” – to serve the religious needs of the people. In reality, however, he will try to drive Christ out of our hearts and take that place himself!

Therefore, the Kingdom of Christ must be very deeply ingrained and rooted in us so that no false siren sounds can reach us and obscure the presence of the Lord in our hearts! Let us allow the Word of God to take rich roots in us, let us faithfully receive the holy sacraments, let us not neglect the path of holiness and let us remain attached to the authentic teaching of the Church. God will protect and guide us – even when times are dark!