Homily for Thursday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time
In our Gospel today, Jesus invites His disciples to participate in the greatest mission of Christian discipleship – to evangelize and bring people to an encounter with the Good News of salvation, calling them to repentance and belief in the Gospel. He gives them some pretty specific guidelines for this missionary activity. He tells them what to take with them on their journey, what to do when people welcome them, and what to do if people aren’t open to the message. Ultimately, Jesus wanted His disciples to go out and bring people to an awareness that now was the time for repentance.
That mission continues to this very day. The invitation that Jesus offers to His disciples is the same invitation that He gives to us. We, too, are being called to go out and to proclaim the Good News. We, too, are being tasked with the responsibility of sharing the Gospel, of bringing others to an encounter with the Lord.
Now, more than ever before, I think there is an urgency to that mission. The world is so lost right now. There is so much confusion, so much division, so much anger all around us. People are not respecting one another. We, as a society, are failing to recognize the inherent dignity within every human person. People hate one another because of their choice of career, because of the political party which they identify with. Racism is coming back with a vengeance. Religious intolerance is at an all time high.
The Devil is having a heyday with all of these things. Right now, the world needs a reminder that the Evil One has already lost the battle. The world needs a reminder that we already have a Savior who has won the war. The world needs to be called to repentance, to conversion, and to belief in the Gospel. And we are the ones that have to do that. We have to be those voices.
Today, I challenge each of us to do something that shares the message of salvation with others. In what way can we bring people to an encounter with Jesus? Maybe that is sharing a Gospel verse on social media, helping a homeless person on the street corner, inviting someone to Mass this weekend, reaching out to someone and telling them that they were on your mind and telling them that you’re praying for them. Each of us, in our own way, is being invited to take part in this mission of the Church to bring the Gospel to the world. Will you have the courage to do that today?