Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday in Easter 5: The kingdom today

Opening Sentence
On this day the Lord has acted; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Commemoration: Julian of Norwich
Lord God, who in your compassion granted to the Lady Julian many revelations of your nurturing and sustaining love: Move our hearts, like hers, to seek you above all things, for in giving us yourself you give us all; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 61, 62

Lessons: Leviticus 16:20-34, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, Matthew 6:7-15

Jesus calls us to simplicity in our being and our doing. We are not to make a spectacle of ourselves but, rather, to humble ourselves before God, knowing that he takes notice of the little things we do in our prayer life and in our doing good to others. We are not to seek the accolades of the world. That would be a "reward" which, like fame, is fleeting. Our reward, our treasure, is in heaven. There, also, our heart ought to be.

Jesus drives home a very important point, beginning with his teaching on prayer. It is summed up in the last sentence of chapter 6: "Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for the day is its own evil."

Too many Christians do not follow Jesus's advice. They are constantly worried about "tomorrow," so much so that they neglect their responsibility to make today the day of God's kingdom come. In the Lord's Prayer, the focus of today's Gospel reading, Jesus instructs us literally to pray that God will provision us for kingdom living today and equip us to live accordingly. Tomorrow might as well be a thousand years away and as distant from us as the fading memories of yesterday. Today God calls us and provisions us to live the life that bears witness to the coming of his kingdom.

(JAG)

Our Father in Heaven