THE PROJECT OF GOD’S REIGN
Very important works have been written defining what is the «essence of Christianity». However, in order to get to know the center of Christian faith you don’t need to head to any theological theory. What’s first is to grasp for Jesus what was the objective, the center of his life, the cause to which he dedicated himself body and soul.
There’s no doubt today that Mark’s Gospel has correctly summed it up with these words: «The reign of God is close at hand. Repent and believe the gospel». Jesus’ objective was to introduce to the world what he called «God’s reign»: a society structured in a just and dignified way for all, just as God wishes.
When God reigns in the world, humanity progresses in justice, solidarity, compassion, fraternity and peace. This is what Jesus dedicated himself to with true passion. This is why he was persecuted, tortured and executed. «God’s reign» was absolute for him.
The conclusion is clear: the energy, motor, objective, reason, and ultimate meaning of Christianity is «God’s reign», nothing else. The criterion to measure the identity of Christians, the truth of a spirituality or the authenticity of what the Church does, is always «God’s reign». A reign that begins here and reaches its fulness in eternal life.
The only way to look at life as Jesus did, the only way of feeling things as he did, the only manner of acting as he did, is to orient our life for constructing a more human world. However, many Christians haven’t heard tell of «God’s reign». And more than a few theologians have had to go about discovering it throughout our lives little by little.
One of the most serious «heresies» that has been introduced into Christianity is to make of the Church an absolute. To think that the Church is what’s central, the reality before which everything else has to keep subordinate; to make of the Church the ’substitute’ for God’s reign; to work for the Church and worry about her problems, forgetting the suffering there is in the world and the struggle for a more just organization of life.
It’s not easy to maintain a Christianity that’s oriented to God’s reign, but when we work in that direction, faith gets transformed, it becomes more creative, and above all more evangelical and human.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf