Everywhere I turn today, God is shouting a message to me – Evangelize, Evangelize, Evangelize. Everything I’ve read today is telling me I must take the message of Christ – His good news, the Gospel – and shout it from the mountain tops. Today’s readings and the Divine Mercy Chaplet basically share this message.
In the first reading, could anyone be more lukewarm about God and Christ than the Pharisee’s? Instead of being in awe of the miracle Peter and John did for the crippled man – in the name of Christ – they had this response:
“What are we to do with these men?
Everyone living in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign
was done through them, and we cannot deny it.
But so that it may not be spread any further among the people,
let us give them a stern warning
never again to speak to anyone in this name.”
Let us give them a stern warning…oooh, that will take care of it. Peter and John would have none of that…
So they called them back
and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
Peter and John, however, said to them in reply,
“Whether it is right in the sight of God
for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges.
It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.”
Are we that strong willed for our Lord. Is it impossible for us NOT to speak about what we have seen and heard. The message to evangelize is brought to us in the Gospel too:
He said to them, “Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”
What I didn’t put here, but I think is important to note, the 11 were told that Christ had risen from the dead – first from Mary Magdalen – who was the first to have the risen Christ appear to her and then by the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. The 11 believed neither of those accounts because THEY had not seen Jesus. Jesus rebuked them for their attitude before commissioning them with the statement above. I love this Gospel. The message I take from this is I don’t have to have seen Christ personally to be able to evangelize. If someone else has witnessed Christ – their testimony should be all that I need. That message will be reinforced to me in tomorrow’s Gospel…
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
The third form of our call to evangelize comes in our final day of our Divine Mercy Novena. Some may see these has ironic, but I find it providential that the message of today’s Novena is to bring to Him those who are LUKEWARM, those who are finding it hard to believe in Christ’s message and the call to evangelize…
Day 9 – Divine Mercy Novena:
Intention: Today bring to Me SOULS WHO HAVE BECOME LUKEWARM, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: ‘Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.’ For them, the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy.
Novena Prayers: Most compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love, let these tepid souls, who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy.
I find the message clear today. I am called to go out and proclaim the Gospel to all, to evangelize people into the Church. Will anyone listen to that message? Do I have quota, a goal, that I need to set for myself to define my success? I believe the simple answer these questions is no. I haven’t read anywhere where Christ details what a successful mission would be, He calls us to bring the Word to the people. I will bring the message to the people – some will believe it (as those who witnessed Peter and John: on account of the people who were all praising God for what had happened, the Pharisee’s found no way to punish them) and some will not…
For 9 days we have prayed this Novena. I ask that you all participate in tomorrow’s Divine Mercy services. If your parish doesn’t offer them, find one that does. St. Mary Magdalen’s (Brentwood) begins with Mass at 1PM followed up with the sacrament of confession, adoration and recitation of the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Christ Has Risen, Alleluia
God’s will, not mine be done.
Be not afraid.
Jesus I trust in You.