“At that time the Pharisees asked him, ‘When will the Kingdom of God come?’ And he answered, ‘The Kingdom of God does not come in a form which is outwardly perceptible. Nor does it come in such a way that one can say: Look, here it is, or there. Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.’
And he said to the disciples, ‘There will come times when you will long to experience even one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not experience it. Then they will say to you Look—there or Look——here! Do not follow this call, do not go on this path. For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning which flashes up in one part of the sky and yet instantly pours out its bright light over the whole firmament. But first he must suffer much agony and be rejected by this present humanity.
As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days when the Son of Man will reveal Himself: They ate and drank, they came together in marriage as man and wife, until the day when Noah entered the ark and the great flood broke over them and destroyed everything. It was the same in the days of Lot: They ate, drank, bought, sold, planted, built until Lot left Sodom, and fire and sulphur rained from heaven and everything perished. It will be like that, too, in the days when the Son of Man will reveal Himself.
When that time comes, let him who is on the roof of the house, having left his goods in the house, not go down to fetch them. And let him who is out in the open fields not go back to what he has left behind. Remember Lot’s wife! For whoever tries to preserve his soul unchanged will lose it, and whoever is prepared to lose it, will in truth find himself in the life of the Spirit. ” ~Luke 20-34
“The Kingdom of God is within you.” When do we “realize” this? When do we make it real?
We go about our days living in a world where people are focused on buying and selling, people coming together as man and wife, eating and drinking, preoccupied with making money.
And we could say that this Gospel reading took place long ago and that the consequences described here will happen far, far into the future, so it really doesn’t affect us.
But a new consciousness has broken out over humanity in our time. We have the possibility of an overview. We already see people on their roofs unable to go down and fetch anything at all because their houses are underwater or collapsed. We know that thousands of people walk thousands of miles, having left everything behind, to find a new life. They are searching for a life without violence but also for freedom.
The power of realizing that the Kingdom of God is within each one of us is very real. This awareness changes everything. Therefore, the Adversary comes at us now with a new fury!
He does not attack us physically. He goes after our consciousness. The battle is there. The war is on for our attention! There is no more precious thing in the world than human attention. Consider how children suffer when they do not have enough of their parents’ attention. The poet Mary Oliver said, “Attention is the beginning of devotion.”
Is there any greater hijacking than technology overtaking our human attention? Our human consciousness? That which could change the world? This aggressive invasion is quite pervasive and persuasive, but it can be overcome. Without force. We can merely lay it aside and build a space for the “other world” within us, in our inner world, our inner sanctum where we are peaceful and secure. There is no anxiety there, no depression, no panic. And we are not alone. The world is full of people who are awakening to higher truths. There are people consciously willing to participate in the world’s evolving.
There is no strength, no power, no grace, greater than this. Our souls are the inner workshop; the world is our monastery. We can walk in the light of truth no matter what comes to meet us and we can begin to recognize the Kingdom of God within every human being.