Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."
With the birth of Jesus divinity is immersed into humanity. The kingdom of God, in which every being that lives within it does the Father’s will, is now inserted into the kingdom of the world. Up until the time of Jesus we have story after story about a creation that seeks out it’s own will and seems either deaf or just stubbornly insisting on its own way. (Much the same as an independent 2-year-old.) With divinity inserted there is a possibility that “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The difference between the two kingdoms becomes starkly apparent as we learn the story of Jesus’ public life.
In the Readers Digest version of Jonah’s fulfilling God’s guidance that we hear this morning we do not hear his first response to God’s call. He gets on a ship that is going anywhere but the town of Nineveh in attempt to run away from God’s will. There is a great storm and it becomes clear it has been caused by Jonah’s disobedience. The sailors throw Jonah overboard and a great fish swallows him up. It spits him out three days later. Only then does Jonah make ready to go to Nineveh. Even after he accomplishes his task, he has a fit because God does not carry out what He had threatened. This is the perfect example of a subject in the kingdom of the earth.
Now divinity has arrived. Jesus; the God/man seeks only to do the Father’s will. He wants the people of his time and ours to know that God’s kingdom has been inserted into the story of the world. He opens the way for us to move away from the kingdom of the world by believing in him. As we grow in our relationship with him the kingdom of God becomes more apparent. Throughout the history of the Church, we have witnessed brothers and sisters who have embraced the kingdom of God. Sometimes they have looked like failures in the kingdom of the world (most of the early martyrs). But they shine in the kingdom of God. For them, and for ourselves: the kingdom of God is at hand.