Luke 17:20-25 The Kingdom In Your Reach
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.”
The kingdom of God is among you. This expression means “within your reach”. For, indeed, the Lord is within the Pharisee’s reach. Now, if they would only move closer to him.
So much education. So much knowledge. All Wasted. Think about it. The Pharisees had spent their entire lives studying scripture, following the Law, living for God, beating themselves to holiness, and when the Lord appeared in their midst, they could not wait to kill him. They were highly offended by Him.
But what did He do? He preached the truth…and they didn’t like it.
By all the accounts we have, the Lord accepted this reality and kept on course. He never changed. Better to live and die for the truth, than to be loved and admired for lies.
We think it takes a lot of courage to go against the "establishment". It doesn't; especially when the media, Hollywood, the current trends, the latest polls and major corperations are all on your side.
I have "offended" a lot of people for preaching the truth. I could make my life so much easier by preaching gobbledygook.
There is a priest, Fr. Mike, in Minneapolis that is an outspoken critic of the Church’s position regarding gay-marriage. That’s right. He supports gay-marriage. And he has made his support public. When asked to defend his position, he answers with gobbledygook.
In an interview with the Star Tribune, he states that his position on gay marriage has “evolved” (that’s a word the media loves when you're moving in the "right" direction. When you're not, they say, “etch-a-sketched”). The evolving began when he saw two “sweet, sweet” men being taunted, and how he’d heard about “fag bashing” when he was a teen. He began to cry.
Now what does taunting youth and "fag bashing" have to do with every priest, every bishop, and every Pope that is opposed to gay marriage? What does "fag bashing" have to do with me and my opposition to gay marriage? Does he want everyone to think that we, who have yet to "evolve" into more intelligent beings or more caring beings, are “fag bashers”? Not only does Fr. Mike demonize his critics, he never gives them a theological or even logical reason for his opposition towards the Church’s position on gay-marriage.
Instead, the reporter interviewing Fr. Mike, spent an entire paragraph describing his personality and clothing: “[Father Mike], 64, is a solidly built man with grayish-white hair that reaches his shoulders. He has a booming voice, a theatrical flair, and a dexterous command of the language, which includes the occasional expletive. During an interview, he wore a coat and vest bought at a second hand store, and a rainbow button that said, ‘There’s a place for you at Cabrini.’”
The description is not without reason. It serves a purpose. The fact that Father is a “solidly built man” means we can all rest assured that he is nothing like the stereotypical (or Hollywood) priest that is wimpy, wiggly and effeminate. “He has a booming voice…which includes the occasional expletive”. That’s right, he’s a “dude and a stud”, the first necessary ingredients to secular holiness. To top it all off, he wears a coat and vest from a second hand store. When we were children, we were taught that the habit doesn’t make the monk. Now, we are to assume that it does, and that somehow or another it justifies awful positions. The media loves the vow of poverty. To them, it surpasses all the other vows, especially obedience.
Of course no one likes to be demonized by their opponents. But when it happens, it does show how weak and poor their arguments are. We all know it doesn’t take much for the electorate to jump on board with the latest and greatest “human right” (except the right-to-life) but what is most disturbing to me is that since I am a supporter and defender of marriage and all the Church’s teachings, I’m not allowed to cry if I see two men or gay men being bashed! I would have to "evolve" into a supporter of gay marriage in order to shed a tear.
Gene Robinson, an Episcopalian Bishop, recently stated that support for gay-marriage is growing. He’s probably right. But according to him, it’s growing because “the more people know us, the more they begin to love us.” Well, sir, I can honestly say, I know a lot of homosexuals. I love them too. But I do not support gay-marriage.
You can know a lot of people and still disagree with them. You can even love a lot of people and still disagree with them. So you don’t have to become a supporter of gay marriage to know and love homosexuals.
Now, it would be lovely if gay marriage supporters would stop demonizing and belittling those they know (and do not know) that disagree with them.
The Pharisees knew Jesus, and still they belittled and demonized Him. Although they listened to Him, they still twisted His words. Even though they watched every move He made, they still lied about Him. But even with all that they did to destroy Him, they actually helped the Lord to grow in stature and in awareness, for in the end, they showed their cards.
At the end of time, we will all show our cards: the truth as well as the lies will be revealed, the Lord as well as all of us will appear, but only the Lord will sit at the seat of judgment.
In the end, only the kingdom of God will prevail.