The Good News of the kingdom of God

Introduction: In Luke 4:42-44, the writer continues describing Jesus’ mission and ministry as he makes his way to Galilee. Notice that his activities, preaching or teaching or doing miracles, are done in dialogue with the Father through his prayer. In a way he does his Lectio Divina in which he always seeks God’ will. let us stay tune with his prayer.

1.         Read: read the text of Luke 4:42-44 slowly and listen attentively with the ‘ear of your heart’. What word, sentence or phrase stands out for you?

2.         Reflect: read the text again and pay attention of what touches you; why is it meaningful for you. What thought or reflection comes to you. 

3.         Respond: read the text again but this time respond spontaneously to the word of God. In other words, make a dialogue with God what comes from within you. What gift does this text lead you to ask for from the Lord? [spend 2 min of silence]

4.         Stay with the Word: read the text a final time and rest in the word. Allow God to speak to you in deep silence. Do not say anything just listen to God’s words. What is He saying?

5.         Take now the word, sentence, or phase, into your daily life/activity; allow it to become part of you. Always listen to it, reflect on it, pray over it and rest on it as time allows during the day. Then allow the Word leads you to action.

Conclude your ‘Lectio Divina’ with the ‘Our Father’…

Reflection: In our text Luke 4:42-44, we are not only invited but persuaded to follow the example of Jesus: to put our priorities right. Sometimes we pursuit things that are superficial and temporal neglecting what is really important, essential and lasting in our relationship with God. We run after material things that we want to posses but leave us empty and unsatisfied knowing that the only one that can satisfy our thirst for meaning and fulfilment in life is God. Let us then put our priorities right!

Central Message: “When day light came, he left the house and made his way to a lonely place” … the crowds “wanted to prevent him leaving them” … but he answered “I must proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God to other towns too, because that is what I was sent to do”.

Main points:

  1. “He left the house and made his way to a lonely place”. Jesus stayed overnight in Simon’s house to rest, after a hard day’s work, for he cured so many people brought to him, and expelled some demons too. We could imagine the exhaustion he experienced because of the energy and power that came out of him in healing all the sick. Nonetheless, Jesus could get up early in the morning and go to a lonely place to pray. In this text, to be in a lonely place is to be alone with God the Father, to have chat with him, to renew his relationship with him and to seek his will in all that he will do in his next missionary journey. It was also to restore his strength and energy lost in the previous night. So, before Jesus engaging with other activities, he seeks first to be with the Father. He puts his Father as his priority before anything else, because “the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees the Father doing” (Jn 5:19). So, if Jesus needs to be with God the Father, how much more we need to be with him too. Let us put our priorities right, let us not go for superfluous things that could make us feel empty, that make us happy for a while and then we find ourselves needing something or someone else to bring us back to a place of temporary happiness again and again. Let us put our priorities right, let us put God at the top of our list.
  • “The crowds “wanted to prevent him leaving them”. Most of the people that were following Jesus had different reason and motivation for their interest in him. There were the curios ones who wanted only to see and hear extraordinary things he did and spoke. These were just curios spectators that had nothing to lose or gain. There were his enemies too, those who opposed and were enraged by his teaching and his miracles and who were trying to find something against him as an excuse to condemned him to death. Then there were the sick, the poor, the downtrodden who were expecting help from Jesus whom they heard of his miraculous powers and therefore have ‘some kind of belief’ in him. These last crowd were the ones who try preventing him leaving them, why? Because they have got what they wanted but perhaps with no effect in their personal lives, like conversion or changing their way of living. In the Gospel of John, the same thing happens but Jesus being aware of their intentions to make him king by force, he escaped from the crowd (Jn 6:15). So, Jesus wanted to move on to the next town knowing that there were these kinds of people described above whom he preached and taught about the Kingdom of God but perhaps did not understand it, neither welcome it in their hearts. Nonetheless, Jesus has accomplished his mission with them and leaves it up to God to make the seed of his kingdom grow in their hearts.
  • “I must proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God to other towns too, because that is what I was sent to do”. This was the answer of Jesus to the crowd who revealed to them the very reason of his presence among them: to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God. That is to reveal to the other towns too the divine message of salvation, to bring the astray, the lost, the sinner back to the flock of the Lord where they belong. This is Good News! He came to look for them, like a shepherd that cares and soothes the wounds of his sheep, exactly as he did in Capernaum and through Judea. So, Jesus does not allow them to stop him or be an obstacle to accomplish his mission, which could have been a subtle temptation posed by Satan, after succeeding in the cure of so many people and gaining fame among them. That is why he wanted to walk away and go to other towns. Jesus’ mission starts always with prayer, to be alone with the Father and be in unison with his will. He never wanted to do anything by himself. Second, to be sent to the periphery of society where he will look for the lost sheep of his flock and thirdly to make more followers and lead them to the Kingdom of God.   

Some questions for our reflexion:

  1. What are your priorities in your daily life? Does God come first in your list of priorities?
  • How do you pray? Do you have a particular place to pray?
  • What are you looking for when you pray?

"Lectio Divina", a Latin term, means "divine reading" and describes a way of reading the Scriptures. Open ourselves to what God wants to say to us.

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Father Rubén Padilla Rocha