Light and Darkness
There are two kingdoms in this world. There is a Kingdom of God (St. Matthew, following the Hebrew way of speaking, in order not to use the Holy Name of God replaces it with the word ‘heaven’ and writes ‘Kingdom of Heaven’). This kingdom means people who know – by the experience of faith – that there is God; that He is the One who created the universe and human beings; that He is reasonable and wise; that He created us for a purpose; that He knows what is right and what is wrong. These people believe and know that He is trustworthy, so they have freely decided to follow and obey Him. They keep His commandments and if they teach them, they will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven. Living in this kingdom means living in the light, even amongst problems, struggles or suffering.
There is another kingdom consisting of those who have not discovered God, not recognised Him as the Maker and Lord of the universe or rejected Him and His moral law.
Everyone decides for himself in which kingdom they want to live. Man has life and death before him. There is a fundamental decision to be taken. But there are also hundreds of daily decisions, smaller and bigger ones, in which we take a step into one of the kingdoms or a whole series of steps, sometimes running – whichever a man likes better will be given him.
The ten commandments (starting from the first one!) are a practical border of the two kingdoms. Not following them one can be sure of not following love, not following the One who is love Himself. But mere keeping them is but a first step, is like being within a kingdom but remaining in the far outskirts. In His sermon on the mount (which we are following for some weeks), Jesus is showing us that the reality of God’s kingdom in our hearts goes much, much deeper.
To those who entered closer to the palace of the King, to those who decided to trust Him fully and follow His way of thinking, living and loving, to them the hidden wisdom of God is being revealed and bestowed upon them: the love up to the point of the Cross. Put out your hand to whichever you prefer.
Fr Chris Jarosz OCD