Today’ gospel recounts how Jesus summoned the twelve apostles, gave them authority over unclean spirits and the ability to cure every disease and illness. This is quite impressive! It is the next lines, however, that capture my imagination. Jesus sends the apostles forth instructing them to “proclaim the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

The Kingdom is here and now! It is not a future reality yet to come. It is not some sort of ethereal reality from another world. It is “at hand,” here among us. It is with our hands and voices and feet that God chooses to build the Kingdom.

Oscar Romero spoke beautifully about building the Kingdom: “We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.  Nothing we do is complete… No statement says all that should be said.  No prayer fully expresses our faith…

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.  We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.  We lay foundations that will need further development.  We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.  We cannot do everything and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.  It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.  We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.”
The Kingdom of God is at hand even if it is not complete.

­­­—David McNulty is the Provincial Assistant for  Advancement, Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits