Note the heavy citations of Matthew’s Gospel in today’s section. This should give a balance to all those Luke passages I pulled out on Tuesday. The kingdom of God is a concept rich in imagery, and also full of consequences for someone willing to align with it as a citizen and disciple. The bulleted format is my edit; the text is left intact:
8. As an evangelizer, Christ first of all proclaims a kingdom, the kingdom of God; and this is so important that, by comparison, everything else becomes “the rest,” which is “given in addition.”[Cf. Mt 6:33] Only the kingdom therefore is absolute and it makes everything else relative. The Lord will delight in describing in many ways …
- the happiness of belonging to this kingdom (a paradoxical happiness which is made up of things that the world rejects),[Cf. Mt 5:3-12]
- the demands of the kingdom and its Magna Charta,[Cf. Mt 5-7]
- the heralds of the kingdom,[Cf. Mt 10]
- its mysteries,[Cf. Mt 13]
- its children,[Cf. Mt 18]
- the vigilance and fidelity demanded of whoever awaits its definitive coming.[Cf. Mt 24-25]
Pondering each of those qualities is worth considerable time.
My comment is that an evangelical Catholic does well to consider herself or himself as a citizen of God’s reign, and to carefully note the ways in which this Way differs from the way of the world. In being conscious of that, we are prepared to offer explanation to others as to why we live in a different civic reality from the rest of the world.
Have you ever thought of the Sermon on the Mount as a Magna Carta of Christianity? I haven’t. How does that fit? Or not fit, in your view?