The Time of Fulfillment
“The utter folly of our time is lamentable, that men should think to assist God with human help and to protect the Church of Christ by worldly ambition.” ~ Saint Hilary, Bishop & Doctor
As the royal violet and dazzling white shades and hues of the Advent and Christmas Season officially give way to the lush green that signifies our return ordinary time, we certainly hit the ground running in today’s Gospel (Mark 1:14-20). In it, we find Jesus in Galilee on the heels of John the Baptist’s arrest, whereupon he has this to say:
“This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”
These initial words of Jesus’ first sermon are an invitation to a far deeper spiritual awareness. This very moment was in essence what those in Galilee and elsewhere had been waiting for. This was not merely another prophet; this wasthe prophet, the Messiah.
“The kingdom of God is at hand." Metaphorically speaking, Jesus Himself is the Kingdom, made manifest so as to reveal God’s divine plan, that which he is doing through him and with him. Jesus’ transformative power in action swings into full force as he goes about healing those in his midst and performing miracle after countless miracle.
“The word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). This is a remarkable statement, one which no other religion lays claim to. Jesus in turn seeks to enter into a very unique and loving personal relationship with each and every one of us. The more time we spend with him, the more he finds ways to pierce our otherwise hardened hearts. Our bond with him is subsequently deepened and strengthened. Over time we come to more fully understand his undying love for us. Through divine grace, our will is set aside and we instead crave his will for our lives. We seek and desire to return that love through acts of mercy, charity and kindness towards others, even our enemies. We inch closer towards our personal time of true fulfillment as the universe does the same.
The Kingdom of God is at hand and yet to come. This is one of the mysteries of our faith. But we must always remember what our Lord says: “It is not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to bear fruit, fruit that will last (John 15:16).
Blessed is that servant whom Jesus finds awake when the Kingdom that is to come is finally at hand.