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  • Sarah Beth Dippel



As you go, make this proclamation: 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' (Matthew 10:7)

When was the last time you or I made this proclamation? Honest? I was a youth minister and a faith formation director, and I can't remember ever saying these exact words to another soul. And yet, we should, right? Maybe we don't exactly think of it that way.

Back in chapter 3 of the Gospel of Matthew, we heard John the Baptist say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." At the start of Lent, we are reminded of these words when the priest applies ashes to our forehead. So why then and why now, as the Gospel of Matthew shifts focus to the apostles' mission, do we hear these words?

During Lent, we focus on our interior spiritual life. A time of fasting and prayer, we turn away from our old selfish and sinful ways and returning to a life focused on God's Will. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is here now.

As Lent nears its end and we enter the season of Easter, we shift that focus outward. All cleaned up and ready, we, like the apostles, are called to share the light of Christ with others. It is our mission to lead souls to Christ. Proclaim, the kingdom of heaven is here now.

We cannot live this life focused only on ourselves; we must share the good news with others. This life is not about you or me. It is about the fulfillment of God's will on earth. The good news is we are made for it. When we follow God's Will for our lives, we will find our most authentic self.

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