We continue this week with a reflection on our parish mission statement and this weekend the part that reads “we seek to proclaim the reign of God.” This means that our church is a place where the reign of God becomes lived out and visible. What does this reign of God look like? As Americans we are not used to terms such as “reign” or “kingdom,” both of which connote royalty. In terms of the gospel, the reign of God is a picture of the world as Jesus reveals it; it’s a place of gentleness, kindness, peace, forgiveness, mercy, and reconciliation. It is both here in our midst and yet to come; we see it, and we wait for it, and that is our hope.
We proclaim the reign of God whenever we live out the words of the gospel in our everyday lives. To proclaim the reign of God is sometimes counter-cultural; Christians have always been both part of and critical of the dominant culture, whether that is the Roman Empire or our own modern times. And note that we “seek” to proclaim this reign of God. As seekers, we are searchers and open to the ways of the Holy Spirit in our midst.
In my time here as pastor, I have seen this lived out in countless ways; the way this parish responds to food drives, the way we reach out to prisoners, the homebound, migrants, and the sick. Anytime the words and actions of Jesus take root in our lives and are lived out – that’s when we proclaim God’s kingdom.
As you know we are beginning a pastoral planning process here at St. Francis and we are beginning that process with a parish survey. You should have received that survey in the mail within the past week or so. If you have not, please contact Tricia Henry at firstname.lastname@example.org and she can assist you. Thanks to all who have returned the survey – please note that all responses are anonymous.
Blessings on your week!