They are just three words but to Christians that encompass a world of faith: “Thy Kingdom Come.”
It was those three words that Pope Francis reflected during his March 6, 2019, General Audience with the crowd of faithful in St. Peter’s Square. It was part of his continuing catechesis on the “Our Father.”
The Holy Father pointed out that the “Thy Kingdom Come” is the second invocation in the “Our Father,” coming after “Hallowed be Thy Name.” The Pope calls “Thy Kingdom Come” a “happy proclamation, a message of joy.”
“Jesus doesn’t want to push people to convert by sowing fear of God’s impending judgment or the sense of guilt for the evil committed,” according to the Pope. “Jesus doesn’t proselytize: He simply proclaims. On the contrary, what He brings is the Good News of salvation, and from it, He calls to conversion.”
The words describe a Christian’s belief in the Gospel, which the Pope explains contains signs of the coming of the Kingdom: healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind, even raising the dead. Yet, despite these positive signs, the Holy Father noted that horrible things continue in the world, child trafficking for example. It seems the Kingdom is slow to arrive.
“Jesus likes to talk of His victory with the language of parables,” Francis explained. “For instance, He says that the Kingdom of God is like a field where the good seed and the weeds grow together: the worst error would be to want to intervene immediately, extirpating from the world those that seem to us weeds. God isn’t like us; God has patience. It’s not with violence that the Kingdom is established in the world: His style of propagation is meekness (Cf. Matthew 13:24-30).
“God’s Kingdom is certainly a great force, the greatest there is, but not according to the world’s criteria; that’s why it seems that it never has the absolute majority. It’s as the leaven that is mixed into the flour: it seems to disappear yet it is precisely what makes the dough ferment (Cf. Matthew 13:33). Or it’s like a grain of mustard seed, so small, almost invisible, but which bears in itself the explosive force of nature, and once grown, it becomes the largest of all the trees of the vegetable garden (Cf. Matthew 13:31-32).”
The Christian continues in praying the “Our Father” each day to proclaim “Thy Kingdom Come.” It is proclaimed “in the midst of our sins and our failures.”
The Pope concluded: “We give it to persons that are defeated and bowed down by life, to those that have tasted more hatred than love, those who have lived useless days without understanding why. We give it to those that have fought for justice, to all the martyrs of history, and to those that have concluded that they fought for nothing and that evil dominates in this world. And Jesus comes, in His own way, but every day. We trust in this.”