Seek first the Kingdom of God

~ Brother Thomas Paul ~

I was an engineer by profession and the Lord called me and forced me to stop everything and learn and work for Him.Now Monsignor was explaining about the first retreat which I preached at Divine retreat center in 1997, he was a part of that retreat.It was nearly twenty two years back and I thank God that he still remembering the experience of the Holy Spirit which he gained in that retreat . That was very interesting that those days I used to live in Bombay and I came to Divine retreat center to give a retreat for leaders.At that time respected fathers requested me to give a retreat to the priests and religious and I said yes of course even though I have never given such retreat before .I gave the dates and fixed the retreat and went back to Bombay.One week before the retreat I rang up Divine retreat center and asked how many priests and religious have registered for this retreat?And the reply was around three hundred priests and two thousand religious.I never thought that these many priests and sisters would attend this retreat . I could not believe and I said it’s impossible ,may be you are mistaken and the person whom I spoke said no ,no ,there is no mistake .I started shivering for I never gave retreat to such an audience before .That day my parish priest in Bombay visited our house and I told him that “father I don’t think I can do this for I am shivering”.He said don’t worry,that is a good sign.This is called Moses syndrome. When God asked Moses to go and he said no no ,I can’t even speak well ,why are you sending me?”Then I felt better and was encouraged.Like Moses stammering and shivering I stood in front of those priests and religious at Divine retreat center stage and in few minutes the Holy Spirit took control over me and I began running up and down in the stage giving nonstop talks for 5 days and was very powerful.What I meant to say is when you focus on God and have an experience of Kingdom in you,then it’s like St Paul says “it’s no more me ,Christ lives in me”.So that is Christian life .The Lord be with you!.This is what we hear everyday in the Holy Mass;The Lord be with you!.Yet we cannot imagine or comprehend that how is such a great God dwell in us with His kingdom ?. That is where we require more illumination.That is where the wisdom of God has to help us .

The very moment I recognized that the the God dwell within me with His kingdom I experienced Christ in my life.I experienced this Kingdom and power in my life.I became completely a different person.One of my colleagues who worked with me in my engineering career met me after many years and was wondered that what had happened with my life that they found me as a different person.Because my olden days I had some habits .I used to drink scotch whiskey .I had a very good company of friends used to gather together and drink .Also I used to smoke cigarets,almost 30 cigarets a day.So this man who met me after many years was one of that friends group. But when I experienced the Kingdom of God within me,Christ within me ,I realized that I am a temple of HolySpirit ,God dwells in me .From that day I am not able to smoke and drink.My complete brain was refurbished and renewed and gave me a complete new thinking .That is what in many songs what we sing speaks about the light comes in you and you are changed completely.So when Christ comes into our lives He is working .Often we have a thinking that when Jesus says “come to me “and “give me” means He is far away.Even now we pray and call “come Lord,come to me ,give me ,this is our general way of prayer .But we should understand what we really meant by that.Even now we are calling come Lord ,even though that is also from bible.But we must now know and realize that He has already come .Where is He? He lives in us.

I am so excited with this theme given to me and I have this book / Apostolic exhortation written by Pope Francis to the youth “Christus Vivit”Christ Lives. I am just reading the same thing Pope says that “He is in you” that’s it and “Christ is alive ,he is our hope” Christ is alive ,this is the famous teaching of Pope Francis ,the apostolic exhortation for the youth.If it is for the youth , Of course
it must be first for the parents .Then only we can give it to the youth,but first it must be understood by the adults that we can lead them.So it is universal and it’s got all.Christ is alive ,He is our hope and in a wonderful way He brings youth to our world and everything He touches becomes young.Hallelujah!!

I see that there are many old people here ,but be hopeful !!because when Christ comes in you ,your old age is over, you will become young like Christ.Everything He touches becomes young,new and full of life.By the way when I was in this area giving retreat one or two years ago ,somebody came and said Thomas Paul ,you look same as I have seen you many years ago,young!And the father also was saying he seen me twenty two years ago and looks the same .I am running and jumping ,I personally dont feel that I am old,I am saying all these to state that Christ is a common factor,Christ is an eternal God.In Christ ,He has no limitation of time !!Christ is always young !.So When we experience Christ,even if we are old like Pope Francis he is eighty-three years old , and still run around with young people;playing,dancing ,singing and clapping and running.When you watch him with general audience ,you will wonder the way he run around and kiss children ,hugging and lifting up them !!!Eighty three years old ,still young!!.So if you realize that Christ lives in us we never think that we are old .Thats why Pope says “everything He touches becomes young,new and full of life”.All these you can understand from the word of God John 10: 10 “that I have come to give life ,in it’s abundance”, in it’s fullness”.Gods life is eternal.The very first word then I would like to to say to every young Christian is this “Christ is alive,He wants to you to be alive .He is in you”.He is in you – Thats the point .How much He is in you? Little? Or full?He cannot be little because He is infinite God!. This is very important to understand that He is infinite. We have learned in mathematics and algebra that infinite divided by anything is equal to infinite .Infinite divided by ten thousand is infinite.

So that is how we have to understand when Jesus says “if you have faith as much as a mustard seed”,and in-fact mustard seed is like a speck of dust ,it’s not the same as we seen the one in our country.The mustard seed in Israel is very tiny as a speck of dust.That is the tiniest of the seeds.Even if you have faith as much as a mustard seed means if you have faith as much as a size of mustard seed, you have infinite faith!!! In the consecrated Eucharist ,when we receive a tiny portion of the big Eucharist,is Jesus fully there ?
Yes He is fully there.So we must understand this in understanding the Kingdom .Jesus has brought a Kingdom which has an infinite power,an infinite possibility,an eternal possibility which no one can remove , because that is the nature ,the substance or the essence of the Kingdom Of God!.

(Christus Vivit continues) “He is in you ,He is with you,and He never abandons you “.Because His Love is eternal!. If He loved you unconditionally,eternally how can that love leave you?That is not a love like our human love that we loved a person for something .No, God loved us not for something ,God loved us to gain us ,to be one with us .Thats what St Paul says about “knowing Christ,Gaining Christ and to be one with Christ”.So in this process we are already one with Christ,we are already united with Him.”He is in you and He never abandons you “. He never abandons you and this is a very important point that He never abandons you!!.We are His possessions!!.”However far you may wander”,even being a Christian having met Christ still there is a possibility that you may wander away from Him,”He is always there,the risen one,He calls you and He waits for you to return to Him” That is called repentance .This word you will be hearing throughout the Lenton season,correct? Repent!!Metanoia!!Means come back!,turn to Lord,turn to Me .You see in Isaiah the word ‘Comfort’ in several places.Give Comfort to my people,Come to Me,drink from Me ,all these are to understand the Lord who is already in us wants to give fullness of Him to us .Repent ,the Kigdom of God is at hand !!Believe in the good news.This is the famous and first proclamation of Jesus.Mark chapter 15 ,the Kingdom of God is at hand,repent and believe in the Good News.So this has five points,1.the Fullfillment of time,the time has fulfilled:
2.Kingdom of God is at hands
3. Repent 4.Believe the good News
But in-order to experience this you may have to start from the last point .What is the last one the ‘Good News’,believe in the Good News, hear the Good News and believe in the Good News,then what you will receive ?repentance.And when you repent you return back to the Lord,then Kingdom of God is at hands,means you already have this Kingdom of God with you.And that is the fulfillment.So here the fulfillment means our temporal time is united with the infinite eternal time of God . God is eternal ,His time is eternal and we have received that eternity now.We are experiencing that infinite eternity.That is what the fulfillment means .So Pope Francis says “He calls you and He waits for you to return to Him and start over again.When you feel that you are growing old out of sorrow, resentment or fear ,doubt or failure He will always be there to restore you ,strengthen you,and be your hope”(Christus Vivit).

മരിയൻ ടൈംസിന്റെ വാട്സാപ്പ് ഗ്രൂപ്പിലേക്ക് സ്വാഗതം . നിങ്ങൾ വാട്സാപ്പ് ഗ്രൂപ്പിൽ അംഗമായി കഴിയുമ്പോൾ ഓരോ ദിവസത്തെയും അപ്ഡേറ്റുകൾ നിങ്ങൾക്ക് ലഭിക്കുന്നതാണ്

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