The Kingdom of God is Possible Here and Now

Now, let’s do it again with the logic. The Kingdom of God is the very Person of Jesus Christ. In the experience of St. Josemaria Escriva. The human person, created in the image of God and baptized  into the Person of Jesus Christ, is able to become “alter Christus, Ipse Christus.” During the Mass of 8/7/1931, Escriva heard the words of Jn. 12, 32: “Si exaltatus fuero a terra, omnia traham ad me ipsum,” (When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all things to myself”). Coverdale wrote: “Reflecting years later on this experience, Escriva said that he understood our Lord to be saying those words to him ‘not in the sense in which the Scripture says them. I say it to you in the sense that you are to raise me up in all human activities, in the sense that all over the world there should be Christians with a personal and most free dedication, who will be other Christs.’[1] [my emphasis].

                Now, “human activities” can be characterized under two headings: secular professional work, and family life. And as the most normal performances of the human person they are the most common and persistent acts of the human person which can be rendered Christological as gifts of self. That is, as Christ is divine Person as Son of the Father, all His acts are Who He is. He is Self-gift to the Father and all His actions are Who He is as Son.

                And every person created in the image of the Son (“Sons in the Son) and made capable of the divine self-giving by the Sacrament of Baptism, every such person is capable of the acts of divine self-giving which would, little by little, transform  him into “Alter Christus, Ipse Christus.” And therefore, wherever he or she is, Ipse Christus is being made present. And so,  the Kingdom of God is co-extensive with any person who is attempting to give self away as service to other.

                The Catholic Church gives one the unique power to make that gift, but as we all know, we find that gift often outside the Church because the power of God is not limited to the Sacrements, and truth not limited to the Magisterium. But the reality is that the Church of Jesus Christ  does“subsist” uniquely  in the Catholic Church. The making of the gift is the ontological establishment of the Kingdom in me here and now.

[1] J. Coverdale, “Uncommon Faith” Scepter (2002) 90.

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