August 14, Sunday, 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle C
Jeremiah 38:4-6,8-10 / Hebrew 12:1-4 / Luke 12:49-53
The only way to live is to preach Christ. To preach Christ is to live like Christ.
Pope Francis in his homilies and letters mentioned about “New Evangelization” and “Synodality.” He said that if people do not go to church, we bring the church to them. He directed all Christians, the bishops, the priests, the sisters and all mission collaborators in the church to open wide the doors of churches, convents and houses to go out and make mess on the streets by announcing the joy of the gospel to all people, to all places, to the peripheries, to meet those who became cold in their faith and separated from the fold of the Lord. Let us talk about Jesus as we meet and encounter them. For evangelization is the church mission.
This is the kind of ‘fire on earth’ that Jesus talks about, a heart that burns for the mission. This means that we should not be sitting idly and remain a maintenance church. We need to have those many baptized Catholics attend mass and live their Catholic faith. This could only happen if our hearts are filled with inspiration and joy to get out from our comfort zones to reach out, to preach in words and in deeds to lead others to God.
How do we exactly reach out to evangelize? Obviously, this cannot be done by just our usual routine – attend Sunday mass, say our novenas and stand as baptismal and wedding sponsors here and there. We have to find ways and be creative to meet, encounter and dialogue with others who are not coming to church.
We have to reach out to those who are distant from the church, those who set aside God in their lives, those who do not anymore see the importance of having faith in Jesus and those who even disregard the value of their own salvation. We cannot just be contented to belong to our own circle enjoying the comfort and familiarity of our own company.
This is the challenge of the gospel. We cannot just wait for others to come - we go to them. This is where we experience the joy of mission. This is where we demonstrate to the world that our church is not a museum of saints but a hospital for sinners who desire and seek God’s mercy.
We may reflect on these questions: As a Christian, have I inspired others in their faith because of my good examples and joyful obedience to the commands of Christ? Haven’t I discouraged others because of my attitude and treatment of them?
Remember, if you do not preach… you’re good as dead! The only way to live is to preach Christ. To preach Christ is to live like Christ. Amen.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.