Saturday: The Kingdom of God

Published December 5, 2015 by Unprodigal Daughter

Saturday

Have you ever imagined how frightening it must have been for those alive during Jesus’ birth? An infant king—a messiah—has finally come to save everyone. But what would the Messiah’s saving power look like? How would things change?

When Jesus grew up and preached the Good News, people had the same question for him. If Jesus was a king, why was he a lowly carpenter’s son? If Jesus was a king, why was he born of an unmarried woman? If Jesus was a king, where was his palace? Where were his worldly goods? 

As we know today, the savior comes, not as a mighty political leader, but as a meek, compassionate example for how we are to love one another. This is a radical, paradoxical notion—that the King of the Universe would be an average person. Another paradoxical notion is the fact that Jesus’s kingdom is not of this world, but greater than it. It is happening in the here and now, but still somehow in the future. The Kingdom of God goes outside of all norms of what we think of when we imagine great kingdoms. The Kingdom of God rewards the humble, the poor, the lowly and repentant, while the kingdoms of this world reward the rich and haughty. This tells us how great Christ’s saving power is—he does not just go outside the norm, but he supersedes it with something better. In today’s Gospel, Christ reminds his disciples of the Kingdom of God when he gives them the power to heal in his name. As Christians, we should all have the Kingdom of God on our lips, just as the apostles did.

Opening Prayer

In this season of expectation
We prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, Messiah
Into the bustle of our lives
and the hard to find moments of solitude
We prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, Messiah
Into our homes and situations
along with friends and families
We prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, Messiah
Into our hearts, and those often hidden parts of our lives
We prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, Messiah
For beneath the surface of your story
is an inescapable fact
You entered this world
as vulnerable as any one of us
in order to nail that vulnerability to the cross.
Our fears, our insecurities and our sins
all that can separate us from God
exchanged by your Grace for Love.
We cannot comprehend the reasoning
only marvel that Salvation comes to us
through a baby born in a stable,
and reaches out to a world in need.

In this season of anticipation
We prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, Messiah

(taken from http://www.faithandworship.com/prayers_Advent.htm#ixzz3tOPbFant)

Daily Readings

Reading 1: IS 30:19-21, 23-26

Thus says the Lord GOD,
the Holy One of Israel:
O people of Zion, who dwell in Jerusalem,
no more will you weep;
He will be gracious to you when you cry out,
as soon as he hears he will answer you.
The Lord will give you the bread you need
and the water for which you thirst.
No longer will your Teacher hide himself,
but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher,
While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears:
“This is the way; walk in it,”
when you would turn to the right or to the left.

He will give rain for the seed
that you sow in the ground,
And the wheat that the soil produces
will be rich and abundant.
On that day your flock will be given pasture
and the lamb will graze in spacious meadows;
The oxen and the asses that till the ground
will eat silage tossed to them
with shovel and pitchfork.
Upon every high mountain and lofty hill
there will be streams of running water.
On the day of the great slaughter,
when the towers fall,
The light of the moon will be like that of the sun
and the light of the sun will be seven times greater
like the light of seven days.
On the day the LORD binds up the wounds of his people,
he will heal the bruises left by his blows.

___________________

Responsorial Psalm: PS 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. (see Isaiah 30:18d) Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.

Praise the LORD, for he is good;
sing praise to our God, for he is gracious;
it is fitting to praise him.
The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem;
the dispersed of Israel he gathers.
R. Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.

He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He tells the number of the stars;
he calls each by name.
R. Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.

Great is our LORD and mighty in power:
to his wisdom there is no limit.
The LORD sustains the lowly;
the wicked he casts to the ground.
R. Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.
————————————
Gospel: MT 9:35–10:1, 5A, 6-8

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”

Then he summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
“Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”

——————————————

Multimedia

In today’s readings, Jesus tells his apostles to go out and heal in his name, because the Kingdom of God (also known as the Kingdom of Heaven) is at hand. For more information on what Jesus means by this, enjoy this clip  by Bishop Robert Barron. 

Additional Advent Activities

Here are ten activities that are suitable for families and children: 

*Look through your clothes for things in good shape that you will never wear again. Bundle them for delivery to a church-run thrift shop or shelter.
*Buy a gift you would personally like to have. Wrap it for distribution to someone your age at a local family shelter.
*Read the Christmas story in the Bible as a family (Luke 2:1-20).
*Bake and decorate sugar cookies as a family. Keep half and give the rest away.
*Offer to help a family member or friend do their Christmas shopping or wrapping.
*As a family, go without snacks or even a meal. Contribute the money saved to a local soup kitchen or food pantry.
*Donate a package of heavy-weight socks to your local homeless shelter.
*Read a book about Christmas traditions around the world. Add an idea you like to your family Christmas celebration.
*Locate Israel and Bethlehem on a globe or world map. Pray for peace in the land and continent of Jesus’ birth.
*Call or write family friends you have not seen for a while. Let them know how much you appreciate their presence in your life.

Closing Prayer

Four our closing prayer today, let us pray a simple Our Father, to help us reflect on the Kingdom of God:

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

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