The WORD in Other Words by Bro Romualdo Abulad SVD (Philippines)
Tuesday Week 10 Ordinary Time, 2 Cor 1:18-22, Mt 10:7-13
Today we hear in no uncertain terms the teaching of Jesus: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” John the Baptist had already been preaching the same message “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Mt 3, 2). Of the many groups vying for attention, Jesus chose to join the one of John, thus signifying the authenticity of the latter‘s message.
For the kingdom to be at hand means that it is already here in our midst. It is not remote and uncertain; it is already right here with us, exactly where we are right now. So how come we are still unaware of it? Because repentance and conversion are the conditions that make us experience the kingdom.
Jesus‘ message, his good news, is that things are no longer the same: the sick are cured, the dead are raised to life, lepers are made clean, and demons are driven out. Jesus’ miracles signal the breaking out of a new era, the commencement of something radically new. Things are not the same again.
And so, in Antioch there was great rejoicing when all people, gentiles as well as Jews, were accepted for baptism, itself the sacrament that brings about new things. It was in Antioch where, finally, we all became Christians. Christ, after whom we are named, is a sign of transfigured times, the actual out-breaking of the great day of rejoicing, when we have all become, like Christ himself, a new man. It is this renewed human for whom the kingdom of heaven is no longer a dream but already a reality.