(Part 225)


October 4, 2017

Today’s gospel:  Luke 9:57-62

What is the most important work of our Church? It is to carry out Jesus’ final instructions, the Great Commission. Our Church is a missionary body. We are to “go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” (v.60b). The proclamation of the gospel, this kerygma, is the missing first step in the work of evangelization, which process lasts a lifetime.

Who is going to do this work? This work is done by Christians, the people of God, who are also Jesus’ disciples. Many people profess to be Christian, as they aver, “I will follow you wherever you go.” (v.57). To really follow Jesus, to be an authentic disciple, is to live Christ and to share Christ. Unfortunately, many who strive to be good persons do not engage in the work of evangelization.

This work of evangelization is so important, so crucial, so indispensable, that it must be a first priority. A disciple of Jesus must have him and his work as his utmost concern. Of course we are also given other priorities in life, especially as to family and livelihood. These are not to be neglected. But often, in pursuit of these other priorities, it is the work of God that we neglect. That should not be so.

To the person who might not have been clear as to the proper priority, or to what sacrifices a total assent to Jesus would entail, Jesus says, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” (v.58). If you will truly follow Jesus, be ready to be as he is, to go where he goes, to endure what he endures.

To the person who wanted to go first to bury his father (v.59b), Jesus says, “Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” (v.60). Evangelization is about bringing life to those who are spiritually dead. This is the more important and urgent work. Familial and social obligations can wait, but the proclamation of the gospel cannot.

To the person who wanted to first say goodbye to his family at home (v.61), Jesus says, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.” (v.62). If you have decided to follow Jesus, then follow him all the way, including the work of sharing Christ. And if you have decided to prioritize God’s work, then do not keep looking back to the old life that you have left behind. Do not be divided in your conviction and commitment.

The work of evangelization is crucial and urgent. And so God calls us to give our all. Now in these especially dark times, we are called to the New Evangelization. Jesus leads the way. As before, he says to us, “Follow me” (v.59a).

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