What exactly does it mean to bring about the kingdom of God?
Proposed Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett made a statement while a Professor at Notre Dame, saying that a “legal career is but a means to an end … and that end is building the Kingdom of God.”
Because of this statement, people are nervous. Amy Coney Barrett appears to live a conservative life and the speculation as to what bringing about this “kingdom of God” means is varied and rampant. Almost immediately, some have taken this statement to be negative, fearing that she will let her faith impact her work to bring about a world they do not want.
For somebody who has spent her life focused on faith, though, I would use the exact same words as Coney Barrett. Bringing about the kingdom of God is my ultimate goal, and I would not consider myself a social conservative.
To me, the kingdom of God is not restrictive, it is inclusive. It is an ideal where we find ourselves living in concert with one another, graciously sharing our gifts, supporting one another in love, and caring for our neighbors living on financial or social margins.
At Notre Dame, we were taught that all work is for a greater good. Work was not simply to make money and create a better life for ourselves and our family; work was meant to share our gifts with the greater community so that we can bring about God’s love and peace to the world in our own unique way.
Notre Dame’s emphasis on forming a community while on campus permeates all that it does, modeling what life can look like beyond university, and it gave me perpetual hope. Learning, exploring, and worshipping with the Notre Dame family taught me about integrating faith into my everyday life and helped me understand that there is no break between the work we do, the faith we practice, and who we are. The way we choose to live shows ourselves and others who we are at our core. If we want to bring the peace God speaks of to the world, our work must be a part of our action.
This post is not an endorsement for Amy Coney Barrett. I do not know her and have not followed her career. Instead it is an endorsement for bringing about the kingdom of God. In the words of Inigo Montoya, I say only this to those who doubt: “I do not think this means what you think it means.” I cannot imagine a better place than the kingdom of God for us all to live.