The Proclamation of the Kingdom is the Mystery of Preaching; and it takes a lot of hard work.
Even on the face of it the Third Luminous Mystery isn’t like the others. It seems nebulous and ill-defined and hard to grab hold of, and the reason isn’t far to seek. Every other mystery concerns a single event, closely limited in time and space—the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Baptism in the Jordan, the Crowning with Thorns, the Crucifixion—but the Proclamation of the Kingdom covers everything from the Wedding at Cana to the Transfiguration, almost the entire three years of Jesus Christ’s public ministry. It covers the Sermons on the Mount and the Plain; it covers the Feeding of the Five Thousand; it covers exorcisms and healings galore. And it’s a mystery that gladdens my Dominican heart.
When I come to the Proclamation of the Kingdom, I always imagine Christ and His disciples trudging down a dusty road in Galilee in the hot sun, en route from one town to another. Certainly He spoke in synagogues; certainly He spoke to large crowds of people; but the bulk of His time was taken up with the simple fact of traveling, on foot, with all of the discomfort that that implies.
And as He and His disciples traveled I’ve no doubt He taught them, and prayed to His Father in Heaven.
And then beside Him, offset a bit, I picture St. Dominic and his disciples trudging down a dusty road in Italy or France, en route from one town to another. Certainly Dominic spoke to crowds of people in town squares, and to individuals in inns, and to his friars, and to God (for it was said of him that he spoke only of God or to God); but the bulk of his time was taken up with the simple fact of traveling, on foot, with all of the discomfort that that implies. Because all of that is what Christ did.
And as he and his disciples traveled they prayed, and rejoiced in the hardships of the road.
Preaching the gospel means sharing the Good News of Christ’s death and resurrection to those around us, but it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You have to be in the right place at the right time, and you have to prepare the way with prayer. And for one hour of preaching to the masses in the evening, you have to spend a whole day’s worth of trudging along in the dust and the hot sun.
And if you do it right, it needn’t be wasted time. Instead, it can be the foundation for everything else.
Copyright 2014, Will Duquette