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Embracing the kingdom of God

Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom of God is the core of the Gospel message. Followers of Jesus have to learn to recognize it and commit ourselves to helping shape a world where God’s priorities are our own. Discover how Jesus teased out the meaning of God’s kingdom in various images and teachings with this 10-part column series.

Catherine Upchurch, general editor of the Little Rock Catholic Study Bible and contributor to several biblical publications, writes from Fort Smith.

 

The kingdom of God is a rare treasure

By Catherine Upchurch, Published: July 17, 2020   

“Antiques Roadshow” is a perennial favorite among viewers of public broadcasting. Folks bring in all kinds of objects to discover the monetary values and also to share or learn more about the history of their particular items. Some pieces and their accompanying stories have been handed down for generations. Other pieces were purchased at garage sales. Everyone is hoping to discover from the experts that their item is a treasure beyond compare. It is fair to say More... 

God’s Kingdom a lesson in patient surrender

By Catherine Upchurch, Published: May 15, 2020   

In the days that have stretched into weeks upon weeks during the pandemic, we are learning valuable lessons about ourselves, our relationships and our interactions with the world around us. One of the lessons has to do with the importance of patience and surrender, two related qualities of the spiritual life that also reveal something about the kingdom of God. The Gospel of Matthew contains a parable from Jesus that is unique in the Gospels. It More... 

Realizing abundance in kingdom of God

By Catherine Upchurch, Published: April 9, 2020   

This weekend we celebrate Easter and the holy days that lead up to it. We proclaim that Jesus rose from the dead, and we hope in the resurrection that we will share with him. The resurrection two centuries ago from a rock-enclosed tomb is good news not just for the followers of Jesus in the past but for all who wish to find meaning in a world that is sometimes hard and full of dying. Easter More... 

The kingdom’s guest list is surprising

By Catherine Upchurch, Published: March 13, 2020   

Jesus is known for using stories to teach his closest followers and the crowds who gather along the way. These stories of seeds and crops, banquets and simple meals, beggars and travelers, and blindness and deafness are familiar from a lifetime of hearing them in our Sunday and weekday liturgies. They pour over us and have the potential to shape our perceptions just by the sheer power of repetition. But perhaps the stories Jesus shared have More... 

The Kingdom of God is now — and not yet

By Catherine Upchurch, Published: February 11, 2020   

Kingdoms of all kinds dominate the headlines — countries, political parties, social media and financial institutions are the newsmakers. However, the news of a kingdom that raises up the poor, rewards those who are forgiving, liberates captives and feeds the hungry hardly gets a mention, even in the footnotes of a nightly telecast or as a crumb on daily news sites. This kind of kingdom that reverses all the usual assumptions relies on its adherents More...