ISAIAH 41:13-20; PSALM 144; MATTHEW 11:11-15
“The kingdom of God suffers violence.” This is indeed a puzzling verse at first. How can God’s kingdom suffer, and what do violent people have to do with it? Much have been said about this verse in the Bible. However, Jesus’ statement that “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.” is a graphic picture of the enthusiasm and excitement generated by John the Baptist’s and Jesus’ teaching. People were hungry for the truth and would not be kept away. There has been an extraordinary rush of people pressing in from all sides, eager for a blessing.
The “kingdom of heaven suffers violence,” figuratively speaking, in that people were so thronging to hear the gospel that they resembled an army trying to besiege a city. And the “violent take it by force”; the people entering the kingdom were not violent literally, but their eagerness to see the coming of the Messiah was so overwhelming that it was as if they were attacking a city and beating down the doors to enter. God’s prophets had predicted the Messiah’s coming, and now that the Messiah was here, nothing could hold back the overflow of people pressing into the kingdom. Beloved, let us bear in mind the response of this people and share their passion, enthusiasm and excitement. There is no place in God for the lukewarm.
LET US PRAY
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer Amen.