"Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus said in reply, “The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”
Then he said to his disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. There will be those who will say to you, ‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’ Do not go off, do not run in pursuit. For just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.” Luke 17
Yesterday I went to visit the island of Molokai, the leper colony. Even today there remains 17 or so patients who reside on the bottom side of the island .
We saw the place where sister Marianne, now st Marianne, and Fr Damien, now st Damien, lived out their vocation.
They spent their lives tending to the sick and dying seeking to bring some small sense of dignity to the patients.
The first reading describes the fruit of wisdom in the human heart where she produces friends of God.
The saint not only becomes a friend of God but they busy their life trying to help others that they to have counted as friends of God as well. It is that friendship with God that clarifies our truest dignity.
This is why st Damien and st marriage did what did so tirelessly. Realizing our friendship with God has a deep impact on the lifestyle we choose to participate in daily.
When Jesus speaks I. Today's gospel that "for behold the Kingdom of God is among you" he is inviting people to embrace the friendship God is offering in and through the very presence of Jesus himself.
Jesus is the embodiment of God's friendship toward humanity, a friendship that finds its perfection not in what we do but in the suffering and rejection Jesus chooses to undergo in order to prove the friendship is not temporary nor existing in certain conditions or circumstances. The friendship is tried and found true and lasting.
The friendship offered by God does not waver but it is always waiting with open arms to receive us more fully into that bond of life and love and loyalty.