St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Catechesis on "Our Father": 9. Your kingdom come
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
When we pray "Our Father", the second invocation with which we turn to God is "come your kingdom" (Mt 6:10). After praying for his name to be sanctified, the believer expresses the desire that the coming of his Kingdom be hastened. This desire has flowed, so to speak, from the very heart of Christ, who began his preaching in Galilee proclaiming: "Time is complete and the kingdom of God is near; be converted and believe in the Gospel "(Mk 1,15). These words are not a threat at all, on the contrary, they are a happy announcement, a message of joy. Jesus does not want to push people to convert by sowing the fear of God's looming judgment or the sense of guilt for the evil committed. Jesus does not proselytize: he announces, simply. On the contrary, what He brings is the Good News of salvation, and starting from it he calls to be converted. Everyone is invited to believe in the "gospel": the lordship of God has become close to his children. This is the Gospel: the lordship of God has become close to his children. And Jesus proclaims this marvelous thing, this grace: God, the Father, loves us, is near us and teaches us to walk on the path of holiness.
The signs of the coming of this Kingdom are many and all positive. Jesus begins his ministry taking care of the sick, both in the body and in the spirit, of those who lived a social exclusion - for example the lepers - of sinners looked with contempt by everyone, even by those who were more sinners than they did pretend to be fair. And Jesus, how do you call them? "Hypocrites". Jesus himself indicates these signs, the signs of the Kingdom of God: "The blind regain sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the Gospel is proclaimed to the poor" (Mt 11: 5) .
"Let your Kingdom come!", The Christian repeats insistently when he prays to "our Father". Jesus came; But the world is still marked by sin, populated by so many people who suffer, by people who are not reconciled and do not forgive, by wars and by so many forms of exploitation, we think of the trafficking of children, for example. All these facts are proof that the victory of Christ has not yet been fully implemented: many men and women still live with a closed heart. It is above all in these situations that the second invocation of the "Our Father" emerges on the Christian's lips: "Let your kingdom come!". Which is like saying: "Father, we need you! Jesus, we need you, we need you to be everywhere and forever You are Lord in our midst! ". "Let your kingdom come, be you among us".
Sometimes we ask ourselves: why is this Kingdom happening so slowly? Jesus loves to speak of his victory with the language of the parables. For example, he says that the Kingdom of God is like a field where good wheat and weeds grow together: the worst mistake would be to want to intervene immediately eradicating from the world those that seem to us weeds. God is not like us, God has patience. It is not with violence that the Kingdom is established in the world: its style of propagation is meekness (cf. Mt 13: 24-30).
The Kingdom of God is certainly a great force, the greatest that there is, but not according to the criteria of the world; this is why it never seems to have an absolute majority. It is like the leaven that is kneaded in the flour: apparently it disappears, yet it is precisely it that ferments the mass (cf. Mt 13:33). Or it is like a grain of mustard, so small, almost invisible, but it carries within it the explosive force of nature, and once grown it becomes the greatest of all the trees of the garden (cf. Mt 13: 31-32).
In this "destiny" of the Kingdom of God we can guess the plot of the life of Jesus: he too was a thin sign for his contemporaries, an event almost unknown to the official historians of the time. A "grain of wheat" has been defined as Himself, who dies in the earth but only in this way can he "bear much fruit" (cf. Jn 12,24). The symbol of the seed is eloquent: one day the peasant sinks it into the earth (a gesture that looks like a burial), and then, "sleep or wake up, by night or by day, the seed sprouts and grows. As he himself does not know "(Mk 4:27). A seed that sprouts is more the work of God than the man who sowed it (cf. Mk 4:27). God always precedes us, God always surprises. Thanks to him after the night of Good Friday there is a dawn of Resurrection capable of illuminating the whole world with hope.
"Come your kingdom!". We sow this word in the midst of our sins and failures. Give it to people who are defeated and bent by life, to those who have savored more hate than love, to those who have lived useless days without ever understanding why. Let us give it to those who have fought for justice, to all the martyrs of history, to those who have concluded that they have fought for nothing and that evil always dominates in this world. Then we will hear the prayer of the "Our Father" respond. He will repeat for the umpteenth time those words of hope, the same ones that the Spirit has placed in the seal of all the Holy Scriptures: "Yes, I come soon!": This is the Lord's answer. "I'm coming soon". Amen. And the Church of the Lord replies: "Come, Lord Jesus" (see Rev 2:20). "Let your kingdom come" is like saying "Come, Lord Jesus". And Jesus says: "I come soon". And Jesus comes, in his way, but every day. We trust this. And when we pray the "Our Father" we always say: "Let your kingdom come", to feel in the heart: "Yes, yes, I come, and I come soon". Thank you!