Manifesting the Kingdom in the World Today


The feast of Epiphany commemorates the public revelation that Jesus had come as Savior not only to certain chosen people, namely the Jews, but to all the nations of the earth.  As the magi we hear about in Matthew’s Gospel responded to the rising of a new star, which they saw as a sign of a newborn king, and approached the Child Jesus and his mother, they represented all the peoples of the world.

Like the rest of the gentile world surrounding ancient Israel, these magi who came from the east were followers of pagan beliefs.  Yet, they sought higher wisdom.

So many pieces of this part of the Christmas story resonate with us today. Many of us feel like we are surrounded by a post-Christian morality and culture that is losing a sense of the presence of God.  Yet the Lord provides a sign that shines out for all to see.  He provides that sign, that light, in and through his Church – through the women, men and children who make up his body in the world today.  Our lives as Christians are all about revealing the Light of the world, the Crucified and Risen Christ.

The Gospels tell us also how Jesus connected his public ministry to the manifestation of the kingdom of God.  Sacred Scripture testifies that, through baptism and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, one becomes an adopted child of God who is empowered to work with Christ in bringing about his kingdom of peace, kindness, truth, and love.

Today at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, I have the honor of recognizing women and men from all over our archdiocesan Church whose lives and work are an epiphany in their own way of the new life offered by Christ. Through all of their gifts of service, the Kingdom of God shines forth in our midst as God’s grace and love enfolds and embraces us.

To these men and women I will present the Manifesting the Kingdom award to recognize the way in which their service to the Church in an exceptional manner that reveals the presence of Jesus Christ in their lives, reflecting in a particular way what it means to live out the mission of the New Evangelization. At the same time, we salute all those who have worked alongside their priests in the myriad tasks of the kingdom.  This is our common calling and it is a blessing to see that we have not a few shining lights, but entire constellations of radiant disciples of the Lord.

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