Summary: We are called to bring the Gospel to a world that is full of men and women who have no awareness of their need for God.
Feast of St. Irenaeus
June 28 2010
You Will Be My Witnesses
The incident reported in Matthew’s Gospel today, is one in which a “man of the book,” literally, or one who studied Torah, declares his willingness to follow Jesus to the end of the earth. Another one, just identified as one who learned from Jesus, says he will follow Jesus once his obligation to his parents has ended. It is interesting to note that this happening is recorded in Matthew and Luke, but not in Mark. That throws some doubt on the 19th century idea that Mark was the first Gospel.
But what is clear in both Gospels is the same message our former Archbishop gave us. We are called to preach the Gospel of Jesus, and the “culture we are called to evangelize is in many ways more hostile to the Gospel” than that faced by Fr. Margil and the first evangelists to America. Our culture has been “de-Christianized” by human intent. “Powerful interests have been at work for some decades now, patiently erasing the influence and memory of our nation’s Christian heritage from our laws and public policies, from our arts and literature, from our schools and media, our language and customs, from our entire way of life.” We are surrounded by men and women, boys and girls who have no “awareness of their need for God. Even believers face the stark reality that in order to participate in the economic, political & social life of our country, we are increasingly compelled to conduct ourselves as if God does not exist.” Moreover, that same culture has turned its back on many of the components of God’s natural law, the ten commandments, and through divorce, abortion, infanticide, homosexual conduct, contraception, and the murder of the disabled and elderly, is destroying the fundamental unit of society, the natural family.
Only the Church, led by the successors of the apostles, has the power to lead men and women back to God, “to the God who speaks in the Bible.” This is why we must leave all that is less important behind and follow Christ in his mission to the world. (You Will Be My Witnesses: 17-18)