“There is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace, my happiness depend: to discover myself in discovering God.” – Thomas Merton
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From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
This is the start of the ministry of Jesus.
It came after an apprenticeship with John the Baptist.
John had recently baptized Jesus.
He had been immersed in the waters of the Jordan river, ritually symbolizing dying to his former self, the self that his ego might have concocted based on his life up to then.
Then Jesus emerged from the waters to symbolize new life.
That’s when he heard God’s voice name him as “the beloved Son” (Matthew 3:17).
Then Jesus was drawn by the Spirit into the desert to deal with all the worldly temptations of the ego for power, prestige and possessions.
It’s also in the desert where he encounters divine assistance.
After passing this initiation, Jesus returns and makes his first statement in carrying out his life’s mission:
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Repent means change your direction.
Stop pursuing happiness through the way of the ego.
And then he says, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
It’s right here.
This is also sometimes translated: the kingdom of heaven is within you.
My friend, the loving realm of peace and acceptance is right here, within you.
The Love that created you is that-close-to-you!
The Creative-Energy-of-Life is sustaining you.
Learn from Jesus that the enticements of the world will not satisfy you.
Follow in his footsteps and hear the same voice that Jesus heard at the Jordan proclaiming you as the beloved.
You are deeply loved and cherished.
Now…go spread the Good News!
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Remember: God loves you!