It may be a bit fitting to commence the season of Easter with a discussion on the Reign of God. This Kingdom, Reign, Rule, Heaven, seems to be a paradox for us. We want it and we work for it, yet our sins betray and sabotage it even in our most virtuous accomplishments on its behalf. This sad mystery: how do we comprehend it?
The Reign of God is today, and it is also not-yet. Where we stumble may be the location of not-yet. The Aparecida bishops give a list of where we might experience it in the here and now:
383. Evident signs of the presence of the Kingdom are:
- living the beatitudes personally and in community;
- the evangelization of the poor;
- knowing and doing the will of the Father;
- martyrdom for the faith;
- access of all to the goods of creation;
- sincere, fraternal, mutual forgiveness;
- accepting and respecting the richness of pluralism;
- and the struggle not to succumb to temptation and to not be slaves of evil.
For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.