“What is that?”
The German girl who sits next to me in my Spanish class pointed to the top of my paper where I had written a particularly pretty “TKC!”
“Oh. Well, you remember I’m a Catholic missionary, right?” She nodded her head in agreement.
“Well, this is the abbreviation for ‘Thy Kingdom Come’; it’s the motto, the motivation for my Movement, my group. Our mission and desire is to extend the Kingdom of God in the hearts of people and in society. This phrase helps us keep that purpose in mind.” My classmate then mentions how her grandmother prayed but her parents (and she herself) felt that people had developed beyond that. Then we had to go back to speaking in Spanish and the conversation ended.
Thy Kingdom Come!
But I’m glad she asked. My Spanish class is a fascinating place. The past four months have put me in contact with young people from all over the world: USA, England, Spain, France, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Austria, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Slovakia, China, Thailand, Japan and South Korea. Thinking of a geographical line, the entire world is in one room, not to mention the different worldviews and lifestyles of each. It has been very obvious to me from the beginning that God wants to extend His Kingdom over the entire world without me ever leaving that classroom. Every day when I write “TKC!” at the top of my paper I offer that same prayer as I look around the room at the Kingdom He wants. He wants the Europeans who think that the faith is nice stuff for children and who have given up on Him to recognize that the pain and confusion they have felt the past generations isn’t because He and His Church are out to oppress them, but because we are weak and fallen human beings. He wants the Egyptian couple to not be afraid anymore or remain closed to new life so to live a “modern” life. He wants the Asians who don’t know who He is and who have no concept of a personal, loving God Who is Father to discover Who He is and what life on this earth could be. (I have some funny stories about interactions I have had with my Chinese classmates who REALLY don’t understand who I am or what I do. Language barriers aside, they really don’t get it). He wants to draw all people to Himself and let them discover Love.
I rarely mention the content of my studies, views on things, and so on; though there have been moments I have attributed my growing vocabulary to the Gospel readings. The interesting thing is that, while there is no direct evangelization I do in class, something is happening. People ask and listen. They share things with me. And I listen, smile, offer empathy and gentle advice in line with the Truth that I know, starting the cycle of asking, listening and sharing again. But mostly, I pray and ask for His reign to take up more of my heart and then overflow to those He puts in my path. Christ our King, Thy Kingdom Come!