Living the Gospel – February 9, 2020

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As I read through the readings for today one theme kept jumping out at me – Evangelization. I think for some of us that term has a negative connotation, something that makes us uncomfortable, something other churches do, but not us. But the Catholic Church has been called to evangelize from day 1. It is very difficult to miss that we are called to evangelize when you read Jesus’ teachings. One example is Matthew 28:19-20 – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” Jesus himself is calling us to go out and spread the good news. The gospel today reaffirms this (emphasis added) – “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” We have a treasure in knowing Jesus Christ, and a privilege in participating in an intimate relationship with him through the Eucharist. The more we understand this, the more we will want to share it. How we choose to share this is as different as each one of us. All too often we think of evangelization as standing on a box on a street corner proclaiming the gospel to all who will listen. While this is certainly a form of evangelization that some are called to, there are so many more. Like Isaiah stated in our first reading – “Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own. Then your light shall break forth like the dawn.” Many of us are called to evangelize thru works of mercy, giving of our time to help the poor. Others are called in various ways to use their talents and treasures to help the materially as well as spiritually poor. God has given all of us, EVERY ONE OF US, a talent that can, and must, be used to evangelize our brothers and sisters for the sake of His kingdom. Now don’t be discouraged if you’re scared, that is normal, for we can’t do any of this on our own. St Paul even reminds of us this in our second reading (emphasis added) – “I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of Spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God..” The evangelization we go out and do is not to make people see us or to think better of us, but to allow people to see the light that is within us, to see what motivates us, to see the power that has changed our life, to see that it is no longer us but our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ within us.

Pax Christi,

John Mihalko