There is a story about a little girl standing with her grandfather by an old-fashioned open well. They had just lowered a bucket and had drawn some water to drink. The little girl asked, “Where does God live?”
The old man picked up the little girl and held her over the open well. “Look down the water,” he said, “and tell me what you see.” ‘I see myself,” said the little girl. ‘That’s where God lives,” said the old man. “He lives in you.”
The kingdom of God is found in a childlike heart. It’s not a matter of looking for it over there or over here but a matter of growing with a heart that embraces beauty, goodness, and truth, leading to a life of humility, purity, and holiness. It’s a matter of looking at Jesus, realizing that he is the kingdom of God, and using our God-given gifts for his glory. Jesus, in today’s Gospel, says that the coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed. Nobody can point to it and say it’s right here or over there, for behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.
In the second reading, Saint Paul sees something more profound in Onesimus, an enslaved person. He sees him as a brother in whom the presence of God lives on earth. Saint Leo the Great, whom we celebrate today, said, “We are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit lives in our hearts.” As Pope, he worked hard to bring peace to warring Romans and used his gifts for Church unity.
Today, we are invited to see that God lives in us. We are invited to see the goodness, truth, and beauty of God’s creation in ourselves, our families, others, and the world around us. We are invited to realize that heaven begins here and now, and the life hereafter will be a continuation of it.
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About Father Pinto Paul, C.S.C.
Father Pinto Paul C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1999, worked with tribal populations in northeast India as a missionary for ten years. In 2010 he came to the US for further studies. While working as a campus minister at Stonehill College, he assisted pastors in local parishes, led seminars and workshops for teachers and students in the US and earned a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Boston College and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Lesley University, Cambridge. He is currently working as the International Director of the Boston-based Holy Cross Family Ministries with missions in 17 countries.