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Thursday, July 11, 2002

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St. Benedict

Hosea 11:1, 3-4, 8-9
Psalm 80
Matthew 10:7-15

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living only for his kingdom

Jesus said: "The reign of God is at hand!" —Matthew 10:7

John the Baptist prefigured Christ's coming by preaching: "Repent! The kingdom of God is at hand!" (Mt 3:2, our transl) Then Jesus preached: "Repent! The kingdom of God is at hand!" (Mt 4:17, our transl) Finally, Jesus sent out His Church, including us, to "make this announcement: 'The kingdom of God is at hand!' " (Mt 10:7, our transl)

Our job and privilege in life is to communicate that:

  • God offers us a new system of government: a monarchy,
  • Jesus is the King of this kingdom,
  • we must seek first His kingdom and everything else will be added to us (Mt 6:33),
  • His kingdom is a matter of "justice, peace, and the joy that is given by the Holy Spirit" (Rm 14:17),
  • His kingdom is manifested as His subjects "cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the leprous, expel demons" (Mt 10:8),
  • His kingdom, unlike all other governments, will last forever (2 Sm 7:16),
  • we must pray always for the coming of His kingdom in fullness (Mt 6:10), and
  • we must express our faith in Jesus as we give everything we have to enter His kingdom (Mt 13:44-46).

Are you in His kingdom? When did you decide to accept the invitation to enter His kingdom? Do you proclaim His kingdom? Do you have wounds to prove it? "Seek first His kingdom" (Mt 6:33, our transl).

Prayer:  Father, may I live and die for Your kingdom.

Promise:  "I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks." —Hos 11:4

Praise:  St. Benedict encouraged practicing that "good fervor which sets us apart from evil inclinations and leads us toward God and eternal life."

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Seek First the Kingdom.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 2001