ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
January 13, 2012
Today’s gospel: Mark 2:1-12
I like today’s story on the healing of a paralytic. People brought a paralytic to Jesus, but because there were so many people gathered, there was no room for him and so his friends opened up a hole in the roof and lowered the mat on which the payalytic was lying, right next to Jesus.
They were persistent, insistent, single-minded, undeterred by obstacles. They would not be held back by the thought that what they were going to do, in opening up a hole in the roof, would distract people and Jesus, with the noise, with the bits of wood and plaster falling down, with the dramatic lowering of the mat. They were simply determined that their friend would encounter Jesus. That is why they had brought him.
How about us? How persistent are we in our evangelization, in bringing people to Jesus (or bringing Jesus to people)?
* Do we easily give up when we encounter obstacles?
* Do we decide not to persist when things become difficult?
* Do we just let things go if conditions are not as ideal as we want them to be?
* Do we avoid the difficult persons to evangelize, those we have to carry, those who have so much baggage?
* Do we have profound anticipation that Jesus can work miracles in the lives of people?
For that matter, as evangelization is about meeting, living and sharing Christ, how do we go about our own continuing living of the good news of Jesus in our lives? How do we allow Jesus to continue to evangelize us, allowing us to go deeper into a life in him?
* Do we forgo attending an assembly because the venue is crowded or uncomfortable?
* Are we eager to be there when there is an opportunity to hear Jesus (through a human speaker, teacher, sharer)?
* Do we seek not just material or physical blessings but more importantly spiritual blessings?
* Do we get easily discouraged when there are detractors against the activity or the speaker or the arrangements?
God wants all men to be saved. Jesus proclaims the good news of salvation to all. But we must be there to hear him. And given that we will encounter many obstacles that can prevent us from being there, we must be persistent and insistent.
Evangelization is not just going to happen because God wills it. The harvest is indeed rich but the laborers are few. We need to be determined evangelizers, in season and out of season.
Since the harvest is rich, if only we give of ourselves unselfishly in responding to God’s call to become evangelizers, then we will see awesome results, as God’s will is done. We can do rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization. Then we will be amazed at the effect of such work on the peoples of the world: “They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this.’” (Mk 2:12b).
* * *