Seek First the Kingdom of God

Challenge: Today, in the morning and in the afternoon, offer your activities to God by means of a short prayer.
by Father Daniel Pajerski, LC | Source:

November 13, 2008
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini

Luke 17: 20-25
Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus said in reply, "The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, 'Look, here it is,' or, 'There it is.' For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you." Then he said to his disciples, "The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. There will be those who will say to you, 'Look, there he is,' or 'Look, here he is.' Do not go off, do not run in pursuit. For just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation."

Introductory Prayer: Almighty Father, I praise you for this day that you have given me. I unite my prayer to the adoration that the angels and saints offer you. I know that these moments with you will strengthen my desire to follow the path that leads to everlasting life.

Petition: Lord Jesus, increase my faith. You have given me a share in your life; help me to allow this life to grow continually in my heart.

1. Never Give up
Life is a precious gift, and every living thing needs time to develop. It is difficult to watch a tree grow, but over time we see that it has grown larger and produces fruit. Too often we desire to obtain immediate, palpable results from our efforts, when God might be asking us to work patiently. Jesus worked patiently for many years in Nazareth, and his Heavenly Father was pleased with all that he did. We were given new life in Baptism. This new life requires time and constant effort to bear fruit. Daily prayer, frequent reception of the Sacraments, and the constant pursuit of goodness will allow us to bear fruit that will last.

2. Work and Prayer
A busy schedule is a common thing nowadays. At the end of a day of constant activity, we ask ourselves how much have we really accomplished. Perhaps one thing we forget to ask ourselves is whether and what we have done to strengthen our friendship with Christ. Building that friendship in the midst of a busy day is not as complicated as we might think. Through grace we participate in God’s very life. Christ is always with us, and we can share our daily activities with him by turning our thoughts to him during the day. Prayer is not about trying “to fit Christ in” between our activities. Prayer is having Christ be our companion in everything that we do and never forgetting for whom we are doing all of these things.

3. Love Conquers All
We all experience suffering, but with Christ as our friend, we know that suffering will never have the final word. Christ came to bring light to our consciences and to save us from the darkness of sin. Our relationship with him is something dynamic, constantly changing. He compares his risen life to the vibrancy of lightning flashing through the sky. When someone is in love, he is constantly thinking about how to do good and pleasing things for the one he loves. Love is always active and never tires of doing anything that will help the beloved. In this way, we can even endure suffering for the ones we love, following the example of Christ.

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, you went about doing good every day that you walked this earth. I want to share in your goodness today. You suffered for me on the cross, and I know that your example of love will strengthen me to do what pleases you today.

Resolution: Today, in the morning and in the afternoon, I will offer my activities to God by means of a short prayer.

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