When Jesus stood before Pilate, he said firmly, “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18: 36)
This doesn’t mean that his kingdom has nothing to do with the world. The whole message of Jesus was the transformation of the world in light of that Kingdom.
It is, as the late Father John Kavanaugh, S.J., wrote in the Word Encountered,
It is a kingdom not fought for with old means of warfare. Rather, it testifies to truth. It will not kill for truth, it will die for it. If Jesus is king, he will be a suffering king. He will not demand ransom. He will be ransom. He will win, not by spilling the blood of others, but by offering up his own.
This means a life of transformation, of conversion, of continually seeking the Kingdom of God.
It means a church that does not seek its own rights, but seeks to wash the feet of all and to serve the least of the world.
I worry about a church that seeks power and privilege, that wraps itself in incense and fancy garments, that proclaims grand campaigns for its own religious liberty but that does not bow down to wash the feet of the poor.
And I worry about myself, when I want to be recognized – rather than recognizing Jesus in those I work with.
The Kingdom of God is here – and is not yet fulfilled. I see signs of it in the poor I work with here in Honduras and in the people who serve others throughout the world, in nursing homes, in soup kitchens, and in the midst of their families.
Would that the signs of the Kingdom would be clearer.
But I think that means willing to make ourselves the servants of others – as Christ did.