What is Jesus announcing when He announces the coming of the kingdom of God? It’s hard to come up with a concrete answer, an answer that keeps its feet on the ground.
Let me propose: The kingdom of God is a new pattern of giving and gratitude, of sharing and reciprocity, that at the same time fulfills the pattern of the Torah. The kingdom is what Milbank calls “purified gift exchange.”
So: We know the kingdom has come when:
-We give without demanding gratitude or reciprocity, trusting the Father to make it good.
-We live lives of constant gratitude to the Father, from whom comes every good and perfect gift.
-We display gratitude for the Spirit’s gifts by using them to edify one another and the community.
-Rivalry, ambition, competition for honor, and envy disappear because all look to a Benefactor of infinite graces.
-None owes anything to anyone, except to love.
-There are no poor among us.
-We rejoice in the gifts our Father gives to us and to others.
And so on.