In our first reading today from Genesis 41, we read about Joseph. We skipped over the part about Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers, and now we see Joseph as the most powerful man in the land, second only to the Pharaoh. There is a great famine, and Joseph’s brothers come to him seeking food, not knowing that it is their long lost brother. If you’re not familiar with the story, you would do well to go back and read the preceeding chapters in Genesis that tell that story.
In our Gospel reading today from Matthew 10, we see the listing of the Twelve Apostles. Then we see Jesus sending out the Twelve, telling them, “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ ” Indeed it was at hand. Jesus was ushering in a new kingdom. The Jews thought that the Messiah would restore Israel and ring in the new glory days of the Davidic kingdom. But Jesus had another plan. A more perfect kingdom. The Kingdom of heaven.
That Kingdom still exists today. It is called the Church. The Catholic Church is the Kingdom of heaven on earth. Now, some may find that difficult to accept. What about abusive priests, scandals and other bad stuff that happens within the Church? How could that possibly be the Kingdom of heaven? Because Jesus is present. He has given us the Eucharist, the Sacraments, the Mass…all the things necessary for our salvation. He teaches us through the Magisterium how to live lives of holiness. Yes, my friend, the Kingdom of heaven is at hand. Are you in?
Father, help us to proclaim the Kingdom of heaven in the world today. Help us to live lives of holiness, that others may see the Kingdom in us. Amen.