“Go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'”

Moving into Matthew chapter 10 (vv. 1-7), we hear how Jesus gathered the twelve apostles around Him, giving them authority to heal and exorcise.  The Twelve are then named.  The passage closes by telling us that Jesus sent these men out to the Israelites only instructing them with the words above.  This proclamation is ours to make as well.  The connotation of expressions like this is that when we declare this we are speaking of the imminent return of Christ, that is, the end of the world.  Since apostolic times there has always been much speculation about when the end is coming.  Just in the last year or so a Christian pastor famously declared that he was certain of the last day; he was, obviously, proved wrong.  And, of course, the infamous Mayan calendar, according to some, places the end of time happening on December 21st of this year.  It is nonsense to get caught up in such conjecture.  All one needs to do is remember Jesus’ own words: “But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mk 13:32).  What is important is the very next verse in Mark: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.”  No one but God knows when the end of the world will come, but one thing we surely know is that our end in this life will come, sooner rather than later in the grand scheme of things.  “Live every day as if it were your last” is a good maxim to make our own.  Are we ready to meet the Lord at any moment?  “You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come” (Lk 12:40).  If we take seriously the Lord’s command to love God above all things and love our neighbors as God loves them and live this out daily, not only will we not need to fear death but we will be providing an example to others so that they too might be inspired to follow the true path.  This is the way we spread the Kingdom and show it to be present today.

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