5TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Title: Woe to me if I do not Preach the Gospel
Spreading the Gospel is every Christian’s Primary Mission.
Today 5th Sunday in ordinary time, two weeks from now we will enter again into another season of our liturgical calendar, the Lenten Season, St. Paul in our second reading has a very powerful message as well as a timely reminder for all of us – “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel”. Our Good Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, when he opened the present year as the Year of St. Paul, he gave us a frightening picture of what our present world is all about. According to him the world today is continuing to make the same mistake that the world has been making for the last two hundred years, too many of our cultural, political, and economic leaders are trying to build a stable, just, and prosperous global society without acknowledging our dependence on God, this is what is called secularism. It is a perennial temptation for every individual and society, and many of last century's tragedies flowed from falling into it. The injustices of Communism, the destruction of two World Wars, the genocides and massacres flaring up on every continent. These resulted from human societies trying to build themselves up without building on the solid foundation of faith in and obedience to Christ and his teachings, the God of wisdom, mercy, and peace. To combat this problem of Secularism the Pope is asking us to be faithful to our Primary Mission as baptized Catholics – spread the Gospel to every nation.
- On becoming Commercials for God
Every one of us is an advertisement for Christ.
Remember last Sunday, super bowl, many of us anticipate the commercials. I like the Doritos one.
As Catholics, we have identified ourselves with Christ and his Church. And so, people who are outside the Church look at us to get an idea of what Christ is like. We are like walking commercials for them.
What kind of commercial will I be?
If we gossip, criticize, and talk trash just as much as everyone else, if we live pleasure-seeking, self-indulgent lives, getting drunk and sleeping around just like everyone else, if we look out for vanity and selfishness instead of looking out for our neighbor, if we lie, cheat, cut others down, and manipulate, just like everyone else, well then, is it any mystery why people who know that we are Christ's followers don't decide to follow Christ themselves?
But if they see us walking away from gossip sessions and defending people's reputations, if they see us living balanced, well-ordered and joyfully disciplined lives, if they see us as compassionate, forgiving, and yet firm in our moral commitments, if they see us trying to swim against the current of the corrupt, ego-centric culture that is tearing society apart, well, then, in that case, they will be drawn towards Christ, not pushed away from him.
- On becoming Miracles for Others – Bearers of Good News.
Not to be pessimistic, but look what is happening around us today, one powerful way of spreading the good news is to become miracle for others.
The greatest Source of Joy.
One reason that we often put this mission of the spreading the gospel is that we think it will bring us sadness instead of joy.
But this is a deception of the devil.
We all know from experience that the greatest joys in life come from making other people happy. Just think about the exchange of Christmas gifts. We enjoy receiving gifts, but our attention is much more drawn to seeing someone we care about picking up the present that we prepared and wrapped especially for them. Our emotions run high as they look and wonder what it contains. The suspense builds as they start to open it. We hold our breath...And then the box-top comes off, they see the gift we picked out just for them, their face lights up, and our heart overflows with joy, because our gift has made them happy.
If you want a concrete example try give me a gift card hehehe.
Christmas season is way way way over, but the calling to be generous in spreading the good news is a 24/7 job for every Catholics.
Be commercials for God, be a miracle for others. Spread the Good news. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.