Seeing the Kingdom

“Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.” (Luke 6:20)

Almost a quarter of a century ago, I was in the midst of formation to become a lay missioner with Franciscan Mission Service as a prelude to my time in Kenya.  Fr. Joe Nangle, a Franciscan friar, was our speaker that morning.  We had begun day with the Eucharist and the gospel was the same gospel we heard this morning.  “Blessed are you who are poor… for yours is the kingdom of God.”  Fr Joe told us that if he could only have one verse of Sacred Scripture for our formation, this would be it.  Within in were the two great challenges to all Christians, but perhaps especially so for Christians from the affluent countries of the world:  to learn to see the poor and to learn to see the kingdom of God in the world. And then he told us this story. Continue reading