The Gospel reading from the Mass for Thursday of the 32nd Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 17:20-25.

Christ’s stupendous miracle of healing of 10 lepers draws great attention, including from the Pharisees who ask when the Kingdom of God is coming. Despite the miracle, the Pharisee’s question reveals they do not believe that Christ is the Messiah; the common Jewish belief was that the Kingdom of God would an overwhelming political event which freed and elevated Israel to worldly dominance.

Christ refutes the common belief that the coming of the Kingdom will be a spectacular political event, saying “the Kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed.” Ironically, in the Pharisee’s stubborn belief that a powerful sign predicts the coming of the Kingdom, they miss the greatest sign possible: Christ the King is right in front of them. Christ mysteriously reveals, “the Kingdom of God is in your midst”; Christ the King is present and where the King is, is the Kingdom.

To the disciples, Christ offers a more complete response that reveals the nature of the Kingdom of God is “already but not yet here” with mysteriously prophetic words.  He reveals His coming absence after the Crucifixion (“you will…desire to see… the Son of man…[but] will not…”) for the Son of Man “must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation” (be crucified). Christ offers hope in the near term, promising to return with undeniable certainty (as obvious as lightening that fills the sky) that is made clear after the Resurrection (Christ Himself appears and spends 40 days with the disciples). Longer term, Christ refers to His Second Coming when the Kingdom of God will be fully manifest (“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done”).

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of GodSon of Man and Divine King, Christ has the power to bring the Kingdom of God in fullness at a time of His choosing.  Divine Prophet, Christ accurately predicts His Crucifixion and Resurrection and prophecizes the future fullness of the Kingdom of God.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Some men dabble in psychic predictions or follow astrologers, hoping for a glimmer of some mysterious reality. Contemplate the Christ, the greatest power and ultimate reality, who mysteriously repeatedly and accurately predicted many verifiable things (Crucifixion, Resurrection, the Catholic Church, etc.)

2) Like the Pharisees, many men today do not believe that Christ and His Kingdom are reality.  Review Christ’s Revelation of the Kingdom (CCC 538-570) and pray for Christ to help you long for and to enter into His Kingdom.

3) Many Protestants, obsess about predicting the Second Coming. The Church continually reaffirms Christ’s teaching not to follow false teachers (‘Lo, there!’ or ‘Lo, here!’ Do not go, do not follow them”). Review the Church’s teaching about how He will come again in glory (CCC 668-682) and pray for Christ’s grace to withstand the coming trials.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Luminous Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Holy Eucharist

Virtue of the Day – Fortitude

Corporal Work of Mercy – To shelter the homeless

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To bear wrongs patiently