…But I was no prophet
There is nothing ordinary about the readings for this 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time. The readings themselves are relatively short, but they are long on meaning and difficult in nature for you and for me. There is no way out for any of us in terms of our own responsibility for the proclamation of the Gospels!
The message of this Gospel from Mark is this: just as the 12 were sent out two by two, with no money, no food, no sack of clothes and no 2nd tunic, so are we sent out. Having money, having food and a second tunic was a sign of having power, of having the ability to ‘lord it over people.’ In the First Reading, Amos emphatically tells the priest of Bethel, “I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets.” We are called and chosen by God in Jesus, each one of us, to be sent out on a mission to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom in our daily lives.
Wait just a minute! I come to Mass, I drag my husband (or my wife) and my kids with me on Sunday, I put a little something in the basket, I say hi to Fr. Dave or Fr. Francis, and deacon what’s his name and now I’ve got to proclaim??? That’s their job, they’re professionals at this, not me.
How do I do this? That’s a very good question and I’m glad you asked. About 40 years ago, Pope Paul VI, who was our Holy Father from 1963 to 1978, along with the United States Catholic Bishops, wrote about this very question. They said there were three things that you and I have to do. First, we have to be Christians / Catholics in more than in name only. Our deeds must show what we believe. Second, we must “witness” to the Gospel and to our faith in our daily lives. Finally, here’s a hard one, we are called to practice justice and generosity in how we spend our money and our time: to carve out time to be with our God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Like Pope Francis, strive to live as a person of hope and joy. Put a smile on our faces because we share the peace of Christ. Sometimes it takes practice.
When we’re asked why we’re so peaceful and joyful, we share about the faith we have been graced with. This is the third step because we have been given the strength and courage by the Holy Spirit, through the different sacraments, we are able to talk about our faith. We don’t need to do this in a pushy way, in an obnoxious way because we know what’s right and wrong. No, we do this in an inviting way, in a way that encourages openness and inclusiveness. Think of this conversation with someone who is questioning us as an invitation to talk, not as an opportunity to show how wrong they are.
I encourage all of us to look at ‘sharing our faith’ more deeply. I read and thought a lot about much of what I just told you from reading an article found on the website, Busted Halo.com. Although it’s not a long article, it goes much deeper than what I’ve been able to share with you here. The article is called, “How Should I Best Share My Faith with Others?” It will give you many more thoughtful ideas on how to live and share our faith life with others.
We must never stop growing in our faith, never stop trusting in our Lord Jesus, and never stop living our faith in our God and loving Father.
Blessings on you and your whole family today,