Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children
Today’s readings speak to us about two different kings: David and Jesus. Although David in some way prefigures Jesus, the kingdoms that they rule are very different. As disciples of Christ we are called to follow Jesus as we live guided by the Spirit of God. It is only when we allow the Holy Spirit to be our source of power that we can bring about God’s kingdom and live heaven on earth.
In the first reading we here about how the people of Israel recognize that they are connected to King David- “we are, your bone and your flesh.” They see that David is like them- fully human- and yet anointed by God to “shepherd” Israel. David prefigures Jesus in certain ways. Jesus is also fully human, and He is called to shepherd God’s people. Jesus is also anointed (Christ means anointed), but He is not anointed with oil. Jesus is anointed with the Holy Spirit and it is the Spirit which becomes His central source of power.
Although David and Jesus are similar in ways, the kingdoms that they promote are very different. King David’s kingdom gains its power through superiority and violence. The kingdom of God that Jesus preaches is one of inclusivity, mercy and love. The “blind and the lame” are against King David as he attempts his takeover in Jerusalem. In the Kingdom of God, not only the blind and the lame, but all people whether weak or strong, are invited to enter the kingdom of God.
What makes the Kingdom of God that Jesus proclaims so different? In the gospel reading Jesus talks about how His Kingdom is not from Satan, but is founded on the grace of the Spirit of God. It is this very Spirit that brings mercy, forgiveness, and love into the world. When someone denies the Spirit and the power the Spirit can bring, there is no opportunity for mercy or forgiveness. Jesus explains that those who deny or “blaspheme” the Spirit are guilty of an “everlasting sin.” Sin is separation from God. Without the presence of the Spirit, a person becomes separated from God and His Kingdom.
What does this mean for those of us who are disciples of Christ? Jesus tells us plainly that we must allow the Holy Spirit to be alive in us. The Holy Spirit’s main power is love- love for God, all people and all of creation. When we remain open and invite the Spirit to direct our thoughts, words and actions, then we will bring the fruits of the Spirit to the world around us. As we hear about the violence, hatred, prejudice, and sorrows of this world it seems that all of creation is crying out for the Spirit to be set free. Although we may feel like tiny specks with little to offer, a life lived full of God’s Spirit can be the beginning of trickle that then becomes a flowing river when joined from other Spirit filled disciples. Each one of us is responsible for offering our particular gifts and lives in building the Kingdom of Christ. When we allow the grace of the Spirit to bring mercy, healing and love to the world we live in, then not only will we be building God’s Kingdom, but we will truly be living heaven here on earth.
Loving Father, Jesus in His humanity shows us how to live in the richness of a Spirit filled life. Send down Your Spirit on us, so we can be vehicles of mercy, peace, healing and love for this suffering world. May we recognize that You are the source of all our goodness, and may we give You glory through our lives. We pray this through Christ our LORD. Amen
- Marylynn Herchline