Even today we have a beautiful Gospel page, even if as always demanding, because the Word of God always asks us one more step, a conversion. Today Jesus says so clearly to us: “The Kingdom of God is near: convert and believe in the Gospel!”.
I think that as Christians we often believe we are converted because we go to Mass on Sundays or maybe we try to behave more or less well. But this conversion that Jesus asks us to believe is really something that challenges us every day: it is a change of direction because the ego always wants to take the reins of our life a little; it’s not like he really wants to step aside and leave room for God! To discover that the Kingdom of God is near: it is incredible to think that the first news that Jesus gives in his proclamation to public life is:the Kingdom of God is near.
We think about it? How many times during the day do we think about this announcement of Jesus? The kingdom of God is here!
We often think that we must suffer, make penance to go to Heaven. No! Jesus came to this earth – in the Our Father every day we ask how in Heaven so on earth – just to make us discover that the Kingdom of God is in our midst, the Risen Christ is among us. And it is up to us to try to experience it, it is up to us to open our hearts through conversion – change of direction – to live what the Word of God promises us: “He who abides in love abides in God and God abides in him. “. The Kingdom of God, the experience of Paradise, we can do it now on this earth. For me this discovering the possibility of living a little ‘how in Heaven so on earth has fascinated me so much that it has become the reason of my whole life: I have discovered that I can live something of that fullness already up there now. Not only are we on pilgrimage to Heaven, but the only certainty we have in this life is that we will die, as much as we want to escape from this truth. It is important to ask ourselves about: what is the meaning of life? Where will I go? Is there something next? Is there this kingdom of God waiting for me? Many say: “But I do not have the proof!”. But no!
Live the Gospel and you will see that you can experience the Kingdom of God on this earth, because there are spiritual senses that make us experience the disciples of Emmaus: “But he did not burn his heart while He was conversing with us along the way ?! “.
With the spiritual senses we can somehow live the encounter with the Risen Christ and that is conversion, the moment that changes your life, that marks you completely, that makes you rise again. For me, the most beautiful thing since I started going to the streets to meet guys in situations of total despair was to contemplate how the Kingdom of God is stronger than hell. Instead we often follow the seductions of the world and this pseudo happiness that the world proposes with arrogance, but then going along the paths of non-love (the wages of sin is death) you experience the death of the soul. The best thing is to contemplate many young people who, even if they have lived through violence, in prison, in shopping, open their hearts to love, experience the Resurrection.
(Interview extracted from the program “On the Road” broadcast on TV2000 and conducted by Father Giulio Michelini)