Twelfth Day of Lenten Reflection: "Seek first the kingdom of God"

On this twelfth day of Lenten reflection, we meditate on a central teaching of Jesus: "Seek first the kingdom of God" (Matthew 6:33). This directive, given during the Sermon on the Mount, encapsulates a core principle of Christian living and offers profound guidance for our Lenten journey.

To "seek first the kingdom of God" is to prioritize God's will and righteousness in our lives. It is a call to orient our hearts, minds, and actions toward God's purposes, above our own personal desires and the distractions of the world. This seeking is not a one-time act but a continual process of aligning our lives with God's will.

Lent provides an ideal context for this seeking. It is a season for introspection, repentance, and spiritual renewal, inviting us to reassess our priorities and commitments. Are we pursuing worldly success, comfort, and pleasure above our relationship with God? Are we more concerned with our own kingdom – our plans, ambitions, and desires – or with God's kingdom and His righteousness?

Seeking the kingdom of God also implies a commitment to the values and principles of that kingdom – love, justice, mercy, humility, and peace. It involves actively participating in the work of God in the world – serving the needy, loving our neighbors, and being peacemakers. In doing so, we become visible representatives of God's kingdom on earth.

Moreover, this seeking is marked by trust and dependence on God. Jesus assures us that when we prioritize God's kingdom, our needs will be taken care of. This promise encourages us to live in faith, releasing our anxieties and trusting in God's provision. Lent challenges us to let go of our need for control and to trust more deeply in God's loving care.

"Seek first the kingdom of God" also speaks to our spiritual practices. Prayer, reading Scripture, worship, and other spiritual disciplines are means by which we seek God and His kingdom. These practices draw us closer to God, deepen our understanding of His will, and empower us to live in accordance with His purposes.

As we continue our Lenten reflection, let us embrace this call to seek first the kingdom of God. May we prioritize God's will in our decisions, reflect His love and righteousness in our actions, and trust in His provision and guidance. In seeking God's kingdom first, we align ourselves with His eternal purposes, finding true meaning, peace, and fulfillment in our lives.

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