World Mission Sunday; October 21, 2012
Is 60:1-6; Rom 10:9-18; Mt 28: 16-20
Deacon Jim McFadden; Divine Savior Catholic Church
The great missionary commission is straightforward and all-encompassing. The disciples, which means all of us who have been baptized and initiated into the Church, the Body of Christ, are to go out and make other disciples of all nations.
Who me? Yes, you; yes, me! We have received this commission from Jesus, who is God among us! We are being sent simply because he has told us to do so. It’s that simple.
Someone might say, “Isn’t ‘evangelization’ a Protestant thing? Evangelization is way outside of my comfort zone. Besides, I prefer my religion to be private—a way to get me into heaven.” Notice how Jesus issued the command: he didn’t say, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…if you’re comfortable doing that. Or, do so if that is your preference.” No, he simply said, “Do it!”
Brothers and sisters, it’s not the case that the Church has a mission it can choose among several options. Rather, the Mission of Christ has a Church! As the People of God we have the same mission as Jesus because the Church and the Risen Christ are one and the same because we are the Body of Christ and Jesus is our head.
At our baptism we were anointed as priest, prophet, and king. As our Catechism reminds us, “Lay people fulfill their prophetic mission by evangelization,” that is the proclamation of Christ by word and testimony of life (CCC, 905).
To whom do we evangelize? EVERYONE! We are to make disciples of all nations. That means that all social and cultural boundaries are dissolved; ethnic and gender restrictions are lifted. We are to bring the Good News to all nations because Jesus has the words of eternal life. Our Lord is challenging us to share what we have received in extravagant abundance.
Where does one evangelize? For lay people, because they are in the world, their evangelization has a certain property and efficacy because they bring the Good News to their ordinary experience. They bring it to their familial relationships, to the workplace, and their social, political, and economic relationships. They bring the Good News to whom God has brought into their life.
Within our Divine Savior parish, there are young people whose hearts are on fire with the Good News of Jesus. They are falling in love with our Lord and they want to share with others what they have received. Listen to their testimonials.