28 Nov The Kingdom of the Beatitudes
By Catherine Doherty
Soon, we will celebrate the feast of Christ the King. There is in each one of us a desire to be a king, a desire which is very deep. In a democracy, we don’t use words like “king” or “czar.” Instead, we use words like “big business” and “cartels”—where lots of people get together so they can fleece other people better.
But it goes deeper than just money. Deep down in our human nature is a desire for power, a desire to sit on some imaginary throne and manipulate others. Tyrants have that dream.
In contrast, what sort of kingdom has Christ created? It is the kingdom of the poor in spirit, the kingdom of the beatitudes. He is the man who had nowhere to lay his head, who wept bloody tears and sweat in the Garden of Gethsemane.
His kingdom is a strange one: three nails and two pieces of wood, unplaned. His kingdom is a crown that deeply entered his head. His kingdom is his power to love and to raise the dead even while he was alive.
His kingdom has the power to make holy—making fragmented people holy and whole. A touch of his hand and lepers were clean. A few sentences, and a prostitute and a thief became saints.
The thief said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom!” “Indeed, I promise you,” the Lord replied, “today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:42-43).
That is the kingship we celebrate—a man dying on a cross for love of us. At the same time, the good thief’s words console all who feel guilty because of their sins.
Let guilt be wiped out! In his kingdom, we simply say “Have mercy on me,” and an unseen hand wipes out all our sins and misdemeanors, and we realize that we are already in paradise, because he who is merciful dwells in us. Where he is, there is paradise.
It’s as simple as that. The trouble is, we use a thousand words when we shouldn’t use anything but silence. We talk about Jesus Christ, but do we believe in him?
Remember me when you come into your kingdom. We don’t have to die to hear the voice of God speaking to our hearts: “Now you shall be with me, for my kingdom is my heart, and you are welcome to it, if you live by its tenets.”
The fact of the matter is that we must allow Christ to reign now, for his kingdom is here now. He has all things under his dominion, under his feet as they used to say. But we must put them there now, while we are on earth. He should be king of our heart, of our mind, of all of us.
In other words, we must beg for faith, so that Christ the King may reign in us. His kingdom is a kingdom of humility, for he said, Learn of me, for I am meek and humble in heart (Matt. 11:29).
His kingdom is fantastic! Even to think about it blows your mind!
When we think that God became a carpenter for 30 years of his life, when we think of the way of his preaching, the way of his death, we really have a strange king.
I think that when we meet him in the hereafter, we will see this in all its glory, and we’ll understand what is really meant by “the kingdom of God” in our midst.
The kind of King we’ve been subjected to is a crucified king. And, you see, there is always that empty side where we should be crucified with him, so that we might become his queen—men or women, it makes no difference, for this is an affair of the heart.
The feast of Christ the King is coming soon. It is the feast of love, of poverty, and of a total surrender to the Father’s will.
Let us, who are the brothers and sisters of Christ, really follow him who came to do the will of the Father (John 5:30). If we do this, we will truly have joy amongst ourselves, and we shall sing and dance before the Lord,
Adapted from several talks given to the MH Community, Restoration, November 1997