In the gospel, we can notice that Christ was going from one place to another, busy preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. (cfr. Lk 8,1-3) We need to realize that since we have to be like Christ, we should also deeply feel the duty to preach and proclaim this good news, especially these days when we are flooded with all sorts of bad news.
We really need to internalize this duty, making it a strong and driving conviction by doing everything to make it so, studying, meditating, writing, talking, using all the available means to spread the living and saving word of God.
We have to realize that preaching the Word of God is a task entrusted to Christ’s apostles and shared by all of us in different ways. The clergy, of course, takes a leading role in this affair. It’s a serious business that involves our whole being, and not just our talents and powers.
First we need to examine our understanding and attitude toward God’s word, especially the Gospel. On this basic understanding would depend what we do with the Gospel and how we should handle it.
Do we really know the true nature of the Gospel? Or do we take it as just one more book, perhaps with certain importance, but definitely not as the living word of God, in spite of its human dimensions?
The Gospel is actually the proclamation of Christ as the Emmanuel, that is, God with us. This is an on-going affair that did not stop with the death of Christ. Christ lives with us up to now, and continues to do things with us.
All these affirmations are captured in the last lines of the Gospel of St. Matthew where our Lord said:
“Go, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them…. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (28,19-20)
Our Catechism tells us that “We must continue to accomplish in ourselves the stages of Jesus’ life and his mysteries and often to beg him to perfect and realize them in us and in his whole Church” (521)
Obviously, to carry out this mission, we need to know our Lord and his teachings. We have to go to him and read the Gospel. Reading and meditating on it should be a regular practice for us, a habit meant to keep us in touch with him.
Thus, every time we read the Gospel, we have to understand by our faith that we are engaging with our Lord in an actual and living way. We are listening to him, and somehow seeing him. We can use our imagination to make ourselves as one more character in any scene depicted in any episode of the Gospel.
For this, we need to look for the appropriate time and place. We have to be wary of our tendency to be dominated by a lifestyle of activism and pragmatism that would blunt our need for recollection and immersion in the life of Christ.
The drama of Christ’s life here on earth has to continue in our own life. Thus, we need to continually conform our mind and heart to the Gospel, an affair that demands everything from us.
Preaching should reflect the condition of our heart as it grapples with the living word of God. It should not just be a matter of declaiming or orating, reduced to the art of public speaking and stage performing, a mere play of our talents.*