"Go and announce the Kingdom of God". Do we understand what this phrase might mean? It may contain truths that we only partly understand and that we might not even ‘believe’ in, such as trust and hope. Perhaps before we go out we might need to consider how we understand God's Kingdom? Is it a tyranny based on unreason, or might it be the best way for developing human happiness? Am I free to choose?
Part of the problem of quoting from Sacred Scripture (as with any quotation) is that we fail to connect this bit with all the other bits. Jesus invites us to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit "who will lead you into all truth". But if we are not praying and not widely reading from Scripture, we are at risk of inventing our own religion. Our own religion is usually characterised by fitting the scripture in with our own ideas. If we consider our own religion to be correct, then it follows that other people's religion will be, to some extent, incorrect. This leaves little room for a respectful and interested conversation as to how we might travel together to a chosen place. Where are we going, and how do we expect to get there? We may be unclear.
Jesus suggests that if we keep our eyes on Him, He will show us a way. In the Gospels Jesus seems to take great delight in mixing with some very dodgy people: sex workers...tax collectors.....bankers.....beggars. The common thread, He says, is that they are all humans who deserve respect and help.
It is unclear from The Gospels if the person who made such a rash promise to follow Jesus actually continued to make the effort to do so. The Apostles and Disciples did follow Him, however, at great personal cost. To what extent then am I going to follow Him?