But he said to them, “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent” (Lk 4:43).
Jesus himself, the Son of God incarnate, fully divine and fully human, is the foretaste of heaven in the midst of those he encountered then and continues to be today, as he works through us, his Church. His work of preaching, teaching, healing, and casting out demons, shows that the divine flow of the Father’s Love is infused into our fallen human condition. Jesus came to restore unity to that which had been lost and once he began his public ministry he was ever on the go.
Through our Baptism, we have been conformed to and indelibly marked by Christ, and for Christ. We are nourished by his Body and Blood in the Eucharist and were empowered through the laying on of hands by the bishop at our Confirmation. We have been divinized, made God through our participation in the life of Jesus the Christ. We too then are priests, prophets, and kings in his name. We also are, to preach and teach the same Gospel, to be his healing and comforting presence, to make Jesus present to those in our midst, and yes we too are called to cast out all demons, and to shine the light on negativity, fear, and division in his name. As James teaches, we are to “submit [our]selves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee” (James 4:7).
Jesus did not travel very far during his three and a half year public ministry, yet his Word has reached all the corners of the world. That is because of those who have encountered him, said yes to his invitation, submitted to the will of his Father, so to be transformed into his saints, and they continued to spread his teachings and life.
We are also called to surrender our life to Jesus moment by moment, in each circumstance and situation so to build up our relationship with him, and embrace the gift of the unique vocation we have been called to do, to be holy, to be his saints. Let us go off to a deserted place and contemplate what Jesus’ inaugural message means to us: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mk 1:15). Then, filled with the Holy Spirit, proclaim with joy, in word and deed, this Good News through our everyday experience. Let us rise this day to follow Jesus and be on our way!
Photo: Peter receiving the keys of the kingdom. As Peter was commissioned the Gospel so are we. Stained glass in Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles, CA,