We pray that Thy kingdom come because sometimes sin reigns in the world. This occurs when a man is so disposed that he follows at once the lure of sin and carries it into effect: “Let not sin reign in your mortal body” but let God reign in your heart (“who says to Zion, “Thy God shall reign”). This will be when you are ready to obey God and keep all His commandments. When therefore we ask that His kingdom may come, we pray that God (and not sin) may reign in us.
…[F]rom the moment that a man desires God to be Lord of all, he ceases to seek revenge for the injury done to himself and leaves that to God. For if you were to avenge yourself, you would no longer seek the advent of this kingdom.
…[I]f you await the coming of His kingdom, i.e. the glory of paradise, you have no need to regret the loss of earthly goods.
…[I]f you pray that God may reign in you, Christ, Who was most meek also will reign in you…
THE THREE GREATEST PRAYERS
Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers, and observe those who thus conduct themselves according to the model you have in us. For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their “shame.” Their minds are occupied with earthy things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will change our lowly bodies to conform with His glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.
Christ Jesus, I seek the advent of the kingdom in my own heart. For you told us that the kingdom is already within us and that all we seek can be found there. In this season of preparation, help me to await the deepening of that awareness of the kingdom within and all around me. Free my mind from preoccupation with earthly goods so that God may reign in me without competition.
Today, reflect on your stewardship of the goods God has given you in your life. Do they preoccupy you? Do they encourage your focus, not on material or earthly goods, but on the imperishable good of God’s kingdom? Start with a good-size packing box and fill it with clothes and other items you are hanging on to that you don’t need. Mark in big letters: “Outbox.”
Reproduced with permission from Advent and Christmas Wisdom from St. Thomas Aquinas, by Fr. Andrew Carl Wisdom, O.P., published by Liguori, 2009.