The Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Our Father #4

September 10, 1995
Brother John Raymond

	We pray so many times in the Our Father "Thy kingdom come." In
 the original Greek "basileia" can be translated as "kingship,"
 "kingdom" or "reign." Even with these three different translations
 the primary reference of this verse, according to the Catechism of
 the Catholic Church, is "to the final coming of the reign of God
 through Christ's return." (Catechism #2818) Perhaps we do not
 reflect on Our Lord's Second Coming enough. When I was in the Holy
 Land at the "Wailing Wall" (the western wall of the outer courtyard
 the Temple destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 A.D.) I saw Jews
 pleading at this wall for the first coming of the Messiah. I was
 able to join in their prayer at the wall but my intention was
 different__the Second Coming.
	At times I get the impression that people are not too excited
 about Our Lord returning. People are busy with things to do, planes
 to catch, etc. But Sacred Scripture reminds us not to be caught off
 guard when the day of the Lord comes. "And as it was in the days of
 Noah, even so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in the
 days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and
 given in marriage until the day when Noah entered the ark and they
 did not understand until the flood came and swept them all away;
 even so will be the coming of the Son of Man." (Mt. 24:37-39) The
 Church looks in joyful expectation for the return of Jesus__we
 should, too. There are many reasons. His reign will be one of
 "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Rom. 14:17)
 Wouldn't that be a pleasant change from our present situation of
 unjustice, war and sadness? This Second Coming is the fullness of
 the reign of God. Since Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has been at work
 bringing about this kingdom. He it is Who completes the Lord's
 "'work on earth and brings us the fullness of grace.'" (Catechism
	Of course, God's Kingdom is furthered by our cooperation. We must
 not be fooled into thinking that technological growth will bring
 about God's Kingdom. I'll never forget the first time I went to
 Epcot Center in Florida, run by Disney. They really made one feel
 that technology was going to solve all our problems__of course, at
 some time in the future. But it is not the answer to happiness. The
 Catechism warns us to distinguish between progress in culture and
 society, and the growth of the Reign of God. Although not separate,
 it is Man's "duty to put into action in this world the energies and
 means received from the Creator to serve justice and peace." (#2820)
 Technology can be a means to bringing about God's Kingdom.
	"'It may even be that the Kingdom of God is Christ Himself.'"
 (#2816) Our Lord said at different times that the Kingdom of God "is
 at hand" or "is in your midst." With Our Lord's Eucharistic Presence
 the Kingdom is still in our midst. But this Kingdom is a hidden one
 now. It will come in glory at the end of the world. "This petition
 is taken up and granted in the prayer of Jesus which is present and
 effective in the Eucharist; it bears its fruit in new life in
 keeping with the Beatitudes." (#2821)
	There is another way of looking at this petition of the Our
 Father. A scribe asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment of
 all. Jesus answered by saying that there is only one God and that we
 should love Him with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength and
 our neighbor as ourself. The scribe commended Jesus for His answer.
 Jesus then said to Him, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God."
 (Mk. 12:28-34) When we live according to these commandments then
 God's Kingdom reigns in us. So in our petition that God's Kingdom
 come we are asking for it to come in us. When Christ reigns in our
 hearts then God's Kingdom has come. I think at times we are too much
 preoccuppied with the external forgetting the internal Kingdom of
	Let us petition God for the coming of His Kingdom keeping in mind
 the different ways in which His Kingdom will come!