When Adam and Eve evicted themselves from paradise, they also destroyed a beautiful edifice. God was just establishing his Kingdom within them and they turned their rich colony of life into a sterile husk—unfit for life. Since then our Father has been in rebuilding mode.
Today’s readings show us the blueprints for the Kingdom of God. They tell us this is a work in progress. His plan is to use the same raw materials he used the first time—the human flesh he formulated out of dust. But this time he extended the completion date—which he’s keeping to himself.
The Kingdom of God, being a work in progress, is actually more of a living organism—the antithesis of that sterile husk humanity inherited from Adam and Eve that could only give shelter to sin. Today’s readings remind us we are all called to be cells that nourish other cells, keeping in motion God’s perpetual process of growth and renewal. As Isaiah tells us, our creator doesn’t think small.
“It is too little, the LORD says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
But at some point God decided to send a master architect and financier to keep this project on track and to pay for its completion in full. As today’s gospel from John tells us, it was John the Baptist who fashioned the doorway for the master’s entrance:
“A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.
I did not know him,
but the reason why I came baptizing with water
was that he might be made known to Israel.”
John testified further, saying,
“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven
and remain upon him.”
And so Jesus took over the project and gathered 12 subcontractors, did train the trainer training, then paid for the project with his life. One of the trainers who came out of this school of craftsmen was Paul, who in today’s second reading tells us how this project progresses from trainer to trainer:
“Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Sosthenes our brother,
to the church of God that is in Corinth,
to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy,
with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
So it’s up to us to continue building God’s Kingdom within ourselves and our families and friends. Guided by the Holy Spirit we can make the place fit for The King.