Jesus’ use of kingdom language leads us to imagine how human society would look if the compassionate God of scripture were in charge and everyone acted accordingly. In his vision however, God will not bring about this kingdom on earth. Jesus places the responsibility for creating God’s kingdom here on earth squarely on our shoulders. We humans have been blessed with all the abilities and resources to accomplish this wonderful vision of life. What Jesus envisioned and what we, too, envision is a world of compassion, a world of justice and mercy, a world of generosity and sharing, a world of love and connectedness. If we are to be his followers we are called to focus our lives on this essential message.
Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.
How can anyone pursue the vision of Jesus in the midst of the present world in which we live? Read and discuss the words of Jesus with those who have similar desires. What do you see in some of the parables?
In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify God.
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
But seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.