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Godzdogz

The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

Built on the four pillars of our Dominican life – preaching, prayer, study, and community – Godzdogz offers many resources for exploring the Catholic Faith today.
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Third Luminous Mystery: The Proclamation of the Kingdom and the Call to Conversion

Friday, September 12, 2014
'The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel' (Mk 1:15).

This Luminous Mystery can be understood very broadly as the whole public ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, lasting three years, but for the sake of meditation during the Rosary we can focus on the very beginning. That is where we see the essence of the proclamation of the kingdom of God.

The beginning of Jesus's preaching mission is to call us to conversion. Our sins have led us away from God; and that is very foolish, not just wicked, because we cannot find happiness apart from God. Just as a sick person cannot be healed unless they admit their frailty and visit the doctor, so we cannot be forgiven without acknowledging our sins: 'I came not to call the righteous, but sinners' (Mt 9:13). Through the interior liberty gained by our conversion, we are simultanesouly freed from all kinds of external oppressions; Christ came 'to preach good news to the poor', that is, to bring healing and peace to all who suffer (cf. Lk 4:18).

When he sends out the 70 disciples, Jesus makes it clear that they are on a mission of peace (Lk 10). They are to bring peace and healing to every house they enter. No wonder, then, that the disciples 'returned with joy'. Jesus warns them not to rejoice in the wonders and miracles they worked, but 'rejoice that your names are written in heaven'. Our true joy comes from our own conversion – we were sinners, but we have been healed. We must become more like Mary, whose pure heart enabled her to play her part in the coming of the kingdom on earth.

This task of proclamation, however, is not an easy one. In the sending of the Twelve (Mt 10), they go out 'as sheep in the midst of wolves', yet Jesus tells them to 'have no fear'. The proclamation of good news is its own reward. Dominicans are vowed especially to this preaching mission and, like all Christian witnesses, we must go out not trusting in our own gifts or righteousness, but knowing ourselves to be sinners redeemed, with the love of God in our hearts.

The Christian paradox is that we live in this world with our hearts burning for the next. The world is fallen, redeemed, and awaiting its re-creation. The kingdom of God is already and not yet; now is the time for mission.

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