From the Pope: Your Kingdom Come
from the Vatican Press Office
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
When we pray the Lordâ€™s Prayer, the second invocation with which we address God is â€śYour Kingdom comeâ€ť (Mt 6: 10). After praying that His name be hallowed, the believer expresses the desire that His Kingdom come in haste. This desire springs, so to speak, from the very heart of Christ, who began His preaching in Galilee proclaiming: â€śThe time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good newsâ€ť (Mk 1,15). These words are not a threat at all; on the contrary, they are a happy announcement, a message of joy. Jesus does not want to push people to convert by sowing the fear of Godâ€™s imminent judgment or a sense of guilt for evil committed. Jesus does not proselytize: He simply announces. On the contrary, what He brings is the Good News of salvation, and starting from this He calls us to convert. Everyone is invited to believe in the â€śGospelâ€ť: the lordship of God brought close to His children. This is the Gospel: the lordship of God made close to His children. And Jesus proclaims this wonder, this grace: God, the Father, loves us, is near us and teaches us to walk on the path of holiness.
The signs of the coming of this Kingdom are many, and all positive. Jesus begins His ministry by taking care of the sick, both in body and in spirit, of those who experienced social exclusion â€“for example, lepers â€“ and of sinners who were looked upon with disdain by all, even by those who were greater sinners than they were, but who feigned righteousness. And what did Jesus call them? â€śHypocrites.â€ť Jesus Himself indicates these signs, the signs of the Kingdom of God: â€śThe blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poorâ€ť (Mt 11: 5).
â€śYour Kingdom come!â€ť The Christian repeats insistently when he prays to â€śour Father.â€ť Jesus came; but the world is still marked by sin, populated by so many people who suffer, by people who are not reconciled and do not forgive, by wars and by so many forms of exploitation; let us we think of the trafficking of children, for example. All these facts are proof that the victory of Christ has not yet been fully implemented: many men and women still live with a closed heart. It is above all in these situations that the second invocation of the Lordâ€™s Prayer emerges on the Christianâ€™s lips: â€śYour Kingdom come!â€ť Which is like saying: â€śFather, we need you! Jesus, we need you, we need you to be everywhere and forever. You are Lord in our midst!â€ť. â€śYour kingdom come, may You be among us.â€ť
Sometimes we ask ourselves: why is this Kingdom being realized so slowly? Jesus loves to speak of His victory with the language of the parables. For example, He says that the Kingdom of God is like a field where good wheat and weeds grow together: the worst mistake would be to want to intervene, immediately eradicating from the world those that seem to us to be weeds. God is not like us, God has patience. It is not with violence that the Kingdom is established in the world: its style of propagation is meekness (cf. Mt 13: 24-30).
The Kingdom of God is certainly a great force, the greatest that there is, but not according to the criteria of the world; this is why it never seems to have an absolute majority. It is like the leaven that is kneaded in the flour: it seemingly disappears, yet it is precisely this that ferments the mass (cf. Mt 13: 33). Or it is like a grain of mustard, so small, almost invisible, but it carries within it the explosive force of nature, and once grown it becomes the greatest of all the trees in the orchard (cf. Mt 13: 31-32).
In this â€śdestinyâ€ť of the Kingdom of God we can intuit the story of Jesusâ€™ life: He too was a meager sign for His contemporaries, an event almost unknown to the official historians of the time. A â€śgrain of wheatâ€ť as He defined Himself, Who dies in the earth but only in this way can â€śproduce many seedsâ€ť (cf. Jn 12: 24). The symbol of the seed is eloquent: one day the peasant sinks it into the earth (a gesture that looks like a burial), and then, â€śnight and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know howâ€ť (Mk 4: 27). A seed that sprouts is more the work of God than the man who sowed it (cf. Mk 4: 27). God always precedes us, God always surprises us. Thanks to Him, after the night of Good Friday there is a dawn of Resurrection capable of illuminating the whole world with hope.
â€śYour kingdom come!â€ť Let us sow this word in the midst of our sins and failures. Let us give it to people who are defeated and bent by life, to those who have experienced more hatred than love, to those who have lived useless days without ever understanding why. Let us give it to those who have fought for justice, to all the martyrs of history, to those who have concluded that they have fought for nothing and that evil always dominates in this world. Then we will hear the Lordâ€™s prayer respond. Those words of hope will be repeated for the umpteenth time, the same ones that the Spirit has placed in the seal of all the Holy Scriptures: â€śYes, I will come soon!â€ť: This is the Lordâ€™s answer: â€śI will come soon.â€ť Amen. And the Church of the Lord replies: â€śCome, Lord Jesusâ€ť (see Rev 2: 20). â€śYour Kingdom comeâ€ť is like saying â€śCome, Lord Jesusâ€ť. And Jesus says: â€śI will come soonâ€ť. And Jesus comes, in His way, but every day. Let us have trust in this. And when we pray the Lordâ€™s Prayer, we always say: â€śYour Kingdom come,â€ť to feel in the heart: â€śYes, yes, I will come, and I will come soon.â€ť Thank you!