God is absolutely dependent upon you to complete the gospel. By your words, your actions, your work or career the gospel can either be given a voice or remain dormant. In today’s reading at Mass from Paul’s Second Reading to Timothy, he says, “the Lord stood by me and gave me strength …. so that through me the proclamation might be completed and the gentiles might hear the Word.”
It was through Paul that the gospel takes root… It is through You that the same gospel is proclaimed and takes root. By your choices, demeanor, the way children are raised , how money is spent, the kind of home one lives in, the friends you have , what one does with free time, how one speaks about another behind their back…the gospel is either lived or ignored.
In the gospel, Jesus sends the disciples out in pairs. Paul had his companions and we need each other. The gospel is not meant to be lived, or proclaimed , in isolation or alone. We need each other to spread and live the gospel. Without support ,I believe it is next to impossible to be a disciple of Jesus.
Our baptism has given us a purpose : to live in the school of discipleship with other believers SO THAT we attract others to gospel living.
We are not meant to create closed families or communities but ones that are open to new
people and possibilities.
The most dysfunctional families and communities are ones that are closed in on themselves creating a suffocating and rigid environment.
Gospel living is always about moving forward into new towns creating new expressions. The church and every parish needs to create open and welcoming structures that are not threatened by new people with new ideas. There is no better way to repel new parishioners than to say ,in so many words , “you’re welcome here, but this is how we do things. ”
Our parish of St. Teresa has been a powerful presence in the Lincoln Park neighborhood for 125 years!!!! Yes, we are alive and vibrant because we are a people on a Mission: we are being sent into the world, rooted in the fires of Baptism, as disciples, paving the way for Christ. The more we create open paths for Christ to walk, the healthier and joyful will be our families , our parishes … Ourselves.
Buen Camino. Fr. Frank.
I’m just about at the halfway point.