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‘The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel’ (Mk 1:15).

This Luminous Mystery can be understood very broadly as the whole public ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, lasting three years, but for the sake of meditation during the Rosary we can focus on the very beginning. That is where we see the essence of the proclamation of the kingdom of God.

The beginning of Jesus’s preaching mission is to call us to conversion. Just as a sick person cannot be healed unless they admit their frailty and visit the doctor, so we cannot be forgiven without acknowledging our sins: ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners’ (Mt 9:13). Through the interior liberty gained by our conversion, we are simultaneously freed from all kinds of external oppressions; Christ came ‘to preach good news to the poor’, that is, to bring healing and peace to all who suffer (cf. Lk 4:18).

This task of proclamation, however, is not an easy one. In the sending of the Twelve (Mt 10), they go out ‘as sheep in the midst of wolves’, yet Jesus tells them to ‘have no fear’. The proclamation of good news is its own reward.

The Christian paradox is that we live in this world with our hearts burning for the next. The world is fallen, redeemed, and awaiting its re-creation. The kingdom of God is already and not yet; now is the time to work to establish the Kingdom.

“Fisher King” by Julie M Hume

And I will make you, he said

The fisher people

I will go out among you

Nameless and wandering

Borrowing the boat of your life

To fling my love like a net

In a generous sweep over the water,

I embrace the sea of your suffering,

To draw in, hand over hand, the gentlest harvest

And I will make you, He said,

The fisher people.

You will say much in a few words

Feed thousands out of your poverty,

Hear the symphony of heaven in silence,

Sing in hard places.

Every day you will live beyond your resources

But never beyond my grace.

And I will make you, he said

The fisher people.

They will know you by your love;

Love like the wide curve of a weighted net

Thrown from the prow of a boat

On a swelling tide.

And I will make you, he said

The fisher people.

They will know by your hands and feet,

As you know me.

Weary feet, laden with the dust of roads,

Torn by stones,

Scarred hands, drawing water for cleansing,

Offering compassion like a towel.

Hands than can bleed.

Feet that can dance.

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