The first part of today’s Gospel reading is totally symbolic in nature.
I paraphrase it.
Soon after his nomination by John the Baptist as ‘The One Who Was To Come,’ Jesus needed to think and pray about this new calling. So he went off by himself for a while.
He was well aware of the dangers attached to this calling and the many enemies he would make.
He was sorely tempted to just forget about it and disappear back to Nazareth and the quiet life there. But he realised that if he did that he would forever be plagued with regrets and guilt for failing to respond to God’s calling. So trusting in God’s goodness and help he made his decision and went back to join John the Baptist at the Jordan.
The second part of today’s Gospel reading is a very brief synopsis of the public life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Soon after John was arrested and imprisoned, Jesus went to Galilee (his home province). There he spent most of the rest of his short life moving about in the towns and villages doing good and speaking of the Kingdom of God.
If I do not grasp something of the meaning and reality of the Kingdom of God then I have missed what Christ’s coming and his message is about.
The Kingdom of God is here. I am in the Kingdom of God. Those yet to be born, we now alive on this earth, and those gone before us into Eternal Life, are all part of the one reality – the Kingdom of God. Call it God’s family, call it the Mystical Body of Christ, call it Eternal Life, call it the Communion of Saints, call it the Holy Trinity family, call it the Life of God. In the Kingdom of God we are all brothers and sisters. In the Kingdom of God there is no Jew or Gentile, no black or white or brown, no male or female. All are Gods children sharing in God’s Eternal Life. The Kingdom of God is God looking with delight on his beloved children, all different, all loved, all cherished.
The same is true for the whole of creation. All things, great and small, belong to the Kingdom of God.
The message, the invitation, is to live out our lives here on earth as members of, as part of, the Kingdom of God.
Why not let our parish be the visible embodiment of the Kingdom of God.
Why not live here and now as we will live when we rise with glorified bodies.
Why not go about doing good and speaking of the Kingdom of God when the opportunity presents itself.