“This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel” (Mk 1:15).
With these words as recorded by Mark, Jesus begins his public ministry in time and space and we in 2019 begin the first week of Ordinary Time together. Whether we are in the Christmas, Easter or the season of Ordinary Time, each day is an opportunity to be thankful and celebrate our life because this continues to be “the time of fulfillment” because the Kingdom of God is still at hand because Jesus is still present to us.
We are not alone on our journey. The Son of God became human, as we just celebrated this Christmas season, and as we will celebrate in Easter, he died and rose again. This was no mere resuscitation like with Lazarus who rose and died again. Jesus conquered death and became the first born of the new creation. We who die with Christ in Baptism rise with him and participate in his life now and for all eternity.
Jesus is closer to us now than he was to his disciples and those he walked among when he first proclaimed his word of truth that his very presence was the Kingdom of God which was at hand. This reality becomes more relevant to us as we allow ourselves to be led by him and conformed by him, so we too can know his Father and participate in the love of the Holy Spirit.
One of the things that holds us back from embracing the gift of Kingdom of God in our midst is our choosing to place ourselves first before God and others. Jesus calls us to reorient our lives in urging us to repent, to turn away from the false reality that we are the center and author of our own lives, such that we come to realize the truth that God is our true author. To repent also means to open ourselves to his love, to trust and feel safe that God accepts us as we are, right now at this moment.
We do not have to do anything or act perfectly or say the right prayer for God to love us, we need to “move the Lord out of the category of ‘polite company’ and into that of intimate friend to whom one can tell everything” (Barry 1987, 55). In this way we will be more open to allow him to transform our being such that we are more conformed to the Body of Christ, we will then become like a pencil in the hand of God such that he writes the pages of the script of our life and we become participants in the act of proclaiming his kingdom.