The mission of Jesus brought not a new teaching but a new event. It brought to people an actual foretaste of the eschatological salvation. Jesus did not promise the forgiveness of sins; he bestowed it. He did not simple assure people of the future fellowship of the Kingdom; he invited them into fellowship with himself as the bearer of the Kingdom. He did not merely promise them vindication in the day of judgment; he bestowed upon them the status of a present righteousness. He not only taught an eschatological deliverance from physical evil; he went about demonstrating the redeeming power of the Kingdom, delivering people from sickness and even death.
The miracles of healing, important as they were, were not an end in themselves. They did not constitute the highest good of the messianic salvation. This fact is illustrated by the arrangement of the phrases in Matthew 11:4-5. Greater than deliverance of the blind and the lame, the lepers and the deaf, even than raising of the dead, was the preaching of the good news to the poor. This gospel was the very presence of Jesus himself, and the joy and fellowship that he brought to the poor.
Modern prophets say that our economics have failed us. No! It is not our economics which have failed; it is man who has failed-man who has forgotten God. Hence no manner of economic or political readjustment can possibly save our civilization; we can be saved only by a renovation of the inner man, only by a purging of our hearts and souls; for only by seeking first the Kingdom of God and His Justice will all these other things be added unto us.
The liturgy of the Eucharist is best understood as a journey or procession. It is the journey of the Church into the dimension of the Kingdom. We use the word 'dimension' because it seems the best way to indicate the manner of our sacramental entrance into the risen life of Christ. Color transparencies 'come alive' when viewed in three dimensions instead of two. The presence of the added dimension allows us to see much better the actual reality of what has been photographed. In very much the same way, though of course any analogy is condemned to fail, our entrance into the presence of Christ is an entrance into a fourth dimension which allows us to see the ultimate reality of life. It is not an escape from the world, rather it is the arrival at a vantage point from which we can see more deeply into the reality of the world.
Many confuse the United States with the Church or the Constitution with the Bible. They feel that the good of the United States is the same as the good of the Kingdom of God. Some feel that the Constitution of the United States is as infallible as the Bible. However, one with wisdom notice that some things are Kingdom principles and some are not.
It's curious that the Church has become the most tightfisted at the very time in history when God has provided most generously. There's considerable talk about the end of the age, and many people seem to believe that Christ will return in their lifetime. But why is it that expecting Christ's return hasn't radically influenced our giving? Why is it that people who believe in the soon return of Christ are so quick to build their own financial empires--which prophecy tells us will perish--and so slow to build God's kingdom?