Today's Gospel: Mark 16, 15-20 - St. Mark the Evangelist
The last words Jesus gives to his apostles before ascending and taking his throne are hard words. He calls us to be evangelists.
“Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Go!
His missions always seem impossible. “Go and sin no more.” Or, of the good Samaritan, “Go, and do likewise.” Go!
Evangelism is not for the weak hearted. It is a terrifying responsibility! The Lord sends us into the world to spread the Gospel- the Good News- to everyone. We Catholics often shy away from evangelism. We’ve seen the door to door evangelists and we’ve thrown away tracts left on our windshields. We don’t quite know what to make of soapbox preachers preaching in public spaces. We don’t like to be not liked, and no one likes a preachy pulpiteer. For some, these might be the scariest words in the Bible. Are we really supposed to preach? Do we have to?
Thankfully, evangelism is not the same for everyone. Just as we all listen differently, we all preach differently too. Do you remember how you were drawn into the faith? Sometimes evangelism is loud and public, but often it is soft and personal. Maybe you include a prayer card with the dinner you made for your neighbor. Maybe you offer to pray with a friend who is struggling. Maybe you invite someone to Mass with you.
The mission is impossible. But we’re not doing it alone. We are doing it together and God is in charge. We listen to God and trust him. Evangelize with love. Proclaim the Gospel. Go!
How is God calling you to spread the Gospel?
Father, we thank you for the gift of faith. Teach us to hear your voice, that we might be your voice to other people. Give us the courage to let your light shine through us. Amen.
Copyright 2016 Beth Hersom
Beth is a cradle Catholic and mother to three daughters. She writes about faith and family. She also talks about the the journey of parenting a child who has significant medical difficulties. Please visit her website: joyfulcatholicmom.blogspot.com