The Church is called, not necessarily to be successful, but only to be faithful to God’s command.

My wife and I have a simple “tradition” driving to Mass on Sunday morning.  She pulls out her cell phone and we listen to the reflections offered by Bishop Barron and Scott Hahn on the readings for that Sunday.  Both are very enlightening and are a great way to prepare for the Mass.  Yesterday, Scott Hahn made the statement (noted above) that yesterday’s readings tell us that failure will happen on our mission to evangelize God’s Word.  We are not “necessarily to be successful, but only to be faithful to God’s command”.  I found that statement to be very profound.

I felt called to start this blog back at the beginning of Lent this year and I’ve been pretty consistent on trying to post words of enlightenment, personal stories and how they relate to the Gospel, challenges to accept and make part of our everyday life.  It’s funny when you start a “website”, you have the opportunity to look at how many “hits”, people who sign onto your website, each and every day.  I used to do this everyday thinking this will be the day that all goes viral, these will be the words that inspire those who have strayed from the faith to come back.  I would check the stats each morning logging on and had great anticipation to see how the numbers grew.  I went from 2 people then to 4, then 8 – heck, one day I had 100 hits.  Then 5, then 2 and I went from being excited about the blog to thinking am I wasting my time.  That’s the problem with ego (and as Fr. Siefert so eloquently pointed out in his homily yesterday) – that’s the problem with a lot of the baggage “we carry” on our mission.  Fr. explained that what  Jesus was trying to tell us in the Gospel yesterday was to leave that baggage behind when you start your mission.  Don’t rely on what isn’t from God but rely on God alone to provide for you on His mission.  I am also reminded that with the mission will come failure, rejection, apathy.  Some days will be good on the mission and some days will be bad.  There will be days when the people treat you like Amos…”Amaziah, priest of Bethel, said to Amos, “Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah! There earn your bread by prophesying, but never again prophesy in Bethel; for it is the king’s sanctuary and a royal temple.”   In short, talk about God all you want – just not here in my house.  God calls us all to the mission, to prophesy just like Amos, and we must all learn to have the grace that Amos had, evident in his response to  Amaziah…Amos answered Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores. The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me, Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”    And with that in mind, I continue on with my blog.  (Editor’s note:  This isn’t the only encouragement I use.  I’ve been blessed with a number of letters I’ve received in the mail and from others who either commented on line or in person about how they’ve enjoyed the blog.  Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to thank me.)

I am no prophet but I am just following the call of God.  So today I move forward with a new purpose in mind.  It is not my mission to convert the people who have strayed from the faith – God will do that.  It is my mission to be faithful to the command’s of God and write about the Word of God and how that Word affects me and how I live my life.  It is through that message the God can do His work.  Yesterday’s responsorial psalm had a nice way of putting it…

Responsorial PsalmPS 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14

R. (8) Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD —for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and prepare the way of his steps.
R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
I will hear what God proclaims…
The Lord himself will give his benefits.
Do something great for our Lord today – be willing to fail in order to succeed.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.

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