– Monday of the 4th Week of Easter –
“Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation” [Mark 16:15]
One of the great confusions amongst Catholics is in regard to the role of the clergy and the laity. For many, nothing can be done without clergy – and the whole mission is dependent on the ordained. It is this kind of mindset that ensures that the Church will not become all that it’s called to be. The fact of the matter is that the mission of the Church belongs to all the faithful – not merely the clergy. This order given by Jesus in today’s gospel to ‘go into all the world and proclaim the good news’ is for all the baptized. So, if you’re reading this – God has a mission for you. The ‘good news’ referred to in the gospels is not simply any news that happens to be good. Rather it is the news that trumps all other good news! It is the news that Jesus has come and he has made a way for us to be saved from our brokenness and find eternal life in him. We were lost, but now we are found, we were without hope, but now we are saved, we were blind, but now we can see. Jesus has brought salvation!
So what can we do here and now? Here’s three simple steps. First, think of a friend who does not know Jesus but may be open to the good news, and begin to pray for them. Pray that their heart might be open to the love of God and that their mind might be ready to hear the good news. Ask Mary to intercede for your friend. Second, find an appropriate moment to open a conversation with this person about faith. We do this by asking questions like, do you think there is a God? Do you think there’s more to this life than what we can see, feel, hear, touch and smell? Open a discussion by asking questions and listening deeply. Third, when the opportunity comes, share your own experience of encounter with God in the Church and through the sacraments.
These conversations can be scary at first, but they are a very explicit way we can respond to Jesus’ call for us to go to all the world and proclaim the gospel. May God grant us all the courage to begin these spiritual conversations, and may the Holy Spirit guide us and give us the words to say in these intimate moments.
by Dcn Peter Pellicaan