THEME: A SOUL FOR CHRIST 2016
READINGS: Isaiah 66:10-14/ Gal. 6:14-18/ Luke 10:1-9
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Last Thursday (30th June) concluded the first half of the year (2016). In that period we prayed to the Lord for a countless number of blessings or favours: forgiveness, spiritual renewal, guidance, successes, jobs, protection, deliverance, healing, etc. We have already received some of these blessings. On the other hand, have we responded favourably to some of the things the Lord is asking us to do for Him? Particularly were we an instrument of winning a soul for Christ in the first half of 2016? If we have not yet done so then the gospel reading is reminding us of the mission to lead, at least, a soul to Christ before the year ends. If we have already facilitated a soul to meet Christ, he is still asking for more souls.
St. Luke informs us that besides the choosing and sending of the twelve apostles (Luke 9:1-6), the Lord Jesus Christ sent out seventy other disciples ahead of Him to towns and places He would visit (Luke 10:1-9). So the work of evangelization is entrusted to not only the clergy (the successors of the apostles) but to all other believers (represented by the seventy disciples). Beloved, there are people Christ wants to visit, but it seems we are delaying His visit. Why? Because He has sent us ahead of Himself, but we have not yet gone to visit them. Even though the winning of souls is the work of the Spirit of Christ, the Lord wants to use us as instruments by which His Spirit can touch many more souls.
The Lord knows that the work of evangelization is not an easy task that is why He sends us out in pairs: two by two. In this manner we can support and encourage one another in the task of inviting souls to meet Christ. So if we have not had the courage to go solo to visit people or talk to them about Christ, let us look for the ‘mission partner’ Christ has assigned us. Let us pray and look among our church (parish) community for someone who can partner us to bring the Good News of Christ to people in our neighbourhood, workplace, school or elsewhere. The one we look for should be someone who can complement what we lack – remember Moses looked for Aaron who could compensate for his lack of eloquence (Ex. 4:10-16), and that partnership was to become a powerful instrument by which God brought the whole Israel out of slavery in Egypt!
Yes, beloved, many souls are in slavery to the evil one, and you and I are to partner others to invite them to encounter Christ. A soul for Christ 2016 is an urgent task. This urgency is what the Lord meant when he told the seventy disciples that they were to greet no one on their way to visit people. So please let us not postpone this mission, not even to tomorrow. Let us begin today with the first step; that is, to pray for the virtues of love and humility, the gifts of wisdom and knowledge, as well as, for the right ‘mission partner’. Secondly, tomorrow let us begin a serious study of the Word of God. Thirdly, next Sunday, let us begin to look for the ‘mission partner’ we will be praying for. Fourthly, let us pray and study the Word together with the partner for, at least, three months. Finally, let us visit people or their homes to invite, at least, a soul for Christ before the year ends.
I pray that:
- the Lord will answer every prayer for the virtues and gifts we need to become effective instruments of winning souls; amen!
- as we study His Word, the bright light of His goodness and mercy will shine on the paths of all our endeavours; amen!
- for every soul we invite to the Lord, He will credit us with a spiritual blessing in heaven; amen!
[You may also read on this website the homily with the theme, ‘FISHERS OF SOULS’.]
By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis