We often hear about the Kingdom of God. It is what we seek, what we are constantly striving and preparing ourselves for, God's love, the end of suffering, unending joy. We're all hoping for this, it's the goal. We don't hear about the Reign of God. The Kingdom is where we hope to be reunited with God once again. However, the Reign of God, that's what is present in our world now, God actively working through the world, through the Church leaders, and every disciple. This is important, because if we don't take part in the Reign of God on earth, then how can we ever hope to be reunited one day in God's fullness? God's Reign is here on earth, whether we choose to embrace it, or try to ignore it.
Today's Gospel states:'And he said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." And he said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything'(Mark 4:26-34).
In today's Gospel, we hear about the Kingdom compared to a mustard seed. Once it is sown upon the ground, it becomes the tallest, the most beautiful shrub, and all life blossoms around it. This is the Kingdom God is trying to bring us into, filling us with life and the love of His Word. God's Reign is evident throughout history, but more clearly through the gift of His love, in Jesus. Do we seek out God's presence in the world, and try to bring about His Kingdom? Take some time to ask God to help you be a disciple of His Reign on earth, and bring about His love.
Today's prayer comes from 'make me something beautiful' a prayer for building God's Kingdom:
God, I want to build your kingdom and not my own. Believing that you have chosen me out of all the peoples of the earth to be your child changes everything. Father, help me to believe that I am your child, and because you have chosen me, you will make me to bear fruit that will last. God, help me to live like a chosen child of the king, walking in confidence that you have a plan and purpose for my life. Amen.