Thursday, December 13, 2012

Reflection: Violence and the Kingdom of Heaven

When I awoke this morning and read today's scripture before my morning prayer, I was very moved by the words in the Gospel, "the kingdom of heaven suffers violence." The present tense caught me off guard. I usually focused on the exaltation/humility of John the Baptist's position in the kingdom, but these words threw me for a loop. It continues, "And the violent are taking it by force."

Somehow this made me access the emotions of God. As I felt deeply that God's kingdom is being assaulted, it made me realize the pain and vulnerability God must feel. It is a present reality and there is much animus against the kingdom because the violent ones are still attacking it. It makes me wonder about the pain God feels and yet as God feels it, God must still be looking beyond it because the promise of the good is yet to unfold.

As I feel sensitive about it, it is causing me to look at possible ways in which my words and actions might not be building up the kingdom and resolving conflicts. My awareness of my heart's and mind's responses to this gives me pause. I guess this is the purpose of Advent.