Sunday, June 30, 2013

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker 

“No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.” These are such typical “Jesus words.” They are astoundingly significant in understanding what Jesus is inviting us to share.

The kingdom of God is something so present, so real, so radical, and yet so familiar and appropriately comfortable. The kingdom of God is realized in all things, yet it is distinct and can be missed and not experienced because we are not really open to it or ready to receive it.

Imagine Jesus saying to you (just after you have pledged to follow him after you bury your father): “Let the dead bury the dead.” Really? Are you seriously saying I should not take care of the burial of my own father? Herein lies the radical challenge of Jesus’ words.

The truth is that, when we embrace the kingdom of God, all realities and relationships become rearranged and realigned. God’s kingdom calls us to things convenient and inconvenient. We are asked to say “yes” when it feels so much safer to say “no.”

Is there a rule? No. Is there only one way to respond? No. In an instant we may find that what we did before always is not what is needed here; the kingdom of God calls us to new things, to be done in new ways, and invites us to go to new places in this moment and at this time.

Father Perry D. Leiker is St. Bernard parish administrator. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email

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