One of my favourite sayings is ‘the reason why Angels can fly is that they take themselves so lightly!’ I am not advocating frivolity unless you are serious about it. The Gospel invites us to focus on the kingdom and everything else will sort itself out.
The buzzword these days is mindfulness. What mindfulness does is to focus on the breath and this takes your mind off your thoughts, especially negative thinking.
So I am going to use the word BREATHE to craft my sermon today. As I said mindfulness invites us to focus on the breath but the Gospel invites us to focus on the Kingdom. What does the Kingdom look like? How do we recognise that the Kingdom is here? Another phrase used as an alternative to ‘the Kingdom’ is the phrase ‘the Reign of God’. Saint Paul says that there are three things that last forever, faith, hope and love. So where these three are present the Kingdom or the Reign of God has come.
I am now going to establish the criteria for the reign of God using the letters
B. Bless each Day. Today is day 50 of 365 of 2017. Begin every day with a prayer of thanks. Bless each person for the love and support they give you. The Kingdom has a face; it is the face of each and every person who crosses your path each day. Mindfulness teaches us to pay attention to the gift each person has for us, especially those whom we find difficult.
R. Read something spiritual each day. It helps us reflect on what is really important. The Kingdom of the Reign of God is in the Word of God, so it stands to reason that the scriptures reveal the presence of the Kingdom.
E. Enjoy each day. Find the joy that is present in every encounter. Look for the positive and speak only of the possibilities and hope revealing itself, as the Kingdom reveals itself through joy.
A. Accept the things as they are. Worrying is an abuse of the imagination. When your life is interrupted work quickly through to acceptance. Don’t get stuck in the stages of grief, work through it to acceptance. The Kingdom is the acceptance of things as they are, rooted in faith, hope and love.
T. Touch. Reach out and touch someone every day. Be the Kingdom. Share a compliment, give a smile, stop to talk, pick up the phone, offer hospitality and so on. Be that person. The Kingdom is within you, let it shine through you in the way you touch the heart of others.
H. Hold hands and hug someone everyday; I have heard it said that we are called to human in an inhuman world. The Kingdom begins with reaching out to others. St. Leonard’s parish prayer is a good prayer to begin in day.
E. End each day by noticing your breathing. Notice how relaxed or stressed you are. The kingdom brings deep in peace. Shalom.
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