As we draw to the close of our liturgical year we reflect on Christ as King and who we are as Kingdom disciples! It is often difficult to get our thoughts and our hearts around the notion of rulers as King or Queens leading us. Although seemingly strange as a society that takes pride in democracy I believe we must be kingdom disciples. The kingship under Christ as king is not like our worldly rulers. To proclaim kingly rule with Christ as our head leads us to an identity as a Kingdom People led by one who in humility and meekness leads our lives collectively and personally.
We must stimulate a kingdom vision that will enable us, as a church, to dream, think, and move beyond the church as a private in club. Christ calls us to be more than good Mass -goers; He calls us to be kingdom disciples.In the Gospels, we find Jesus speaks to church three times, He mentions the kingdom over 80 times. The church and the kingdom are connected, but there’s a difference between the two. And it’s important for us to understand how the church and the kingdom are related. The relationship, simply stated, is this: The Kingdom refers to God’s rule and reign; and the church exists to bear witness to the kingdom as we live under that rule and reign.
Too many believers practice the obligation to attend Mass rather than true Christianity lived in our Catholic faith. While Christ calls us to be committed to His church, the reason for this is so that we might become a kingdom people, not just Mass attendees.
Most Catholic Mass attendees – can’t see past church-bound categories for ministry (i.e., usher, greeter, Lector, food pantry , Altar server and Extraordinary ministers, Sacristan etc.).
Kingdom people – have Kingdom vision to think/dream/act/serve in the neighborhood, workplace, and community.
Simple Mass attendees -see the Gospel in terms of good news about the afterlife (you can know you’re going to heaven after you die).
Kingdom people – see the Gospel in terms of good news about Kingdom life (it’s about life with God, both now and forever).
Mass attendees – understand discipleship as fulfilling Sunday Obligation, Confession once a year and receiving the sacraments.
Kingdom people – understand discipleship as growing in personal knowledge of God through His Word, fostering a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and seeking to truly live the Divine Life rooted in the Divine Word! Kingdom people see that the sacramental life of the church strengthens us to be Kingdom Diciples! Jesus calls us to kingdom discipleship – not to be simply Mass attendees, but a kingdom people.
A kingdom disciple, by the leading of God’s Spirit and application of God’s Word, and the strength of the sacraments is learning how to walk with God in the reality of daily life, growing in wisdom as to how God guides and works and provides.