I’ve never had this experience, of course, but many guys out there have had the experience of having to ask a girlfriend’s father/parents for permission/blessing to ask her to marry. Perhaps there was some fear and trepidation in this: not wanting to look stupid, wondering if they’d say no, etc. But what would overcome this fear? Thinking of the great love for the woman and the desire to share the story of that love, no matter what.
Our scripture readings today are about sharing faith/sharing the story/bringing people to a deeper knowledge of God.
In our 1st Reading from Nehemiah, the People of Israel—now back from exile—needed to hear the story (their story) about what God has done, and the covenant relationship God set up with them. Then the people hear, “rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength” – that is, rejoicing in what God has done for us, what He promises, what He calls us to, what He wants to make happen within us.
In our Gospel, Luke is compelled to share his faith, to share the good news, to share the story of the One who brings fulfillment and freedom. Jesus entrusted the continuation of His saving mission to the Church. Within the Church, there is the universal call to holiness – but there is also the universal call to mission.
Our 2nd Reading is that great passage from 1 Corinthians 12 about being members of the Body of Christ. We live for Him and for one another; we have a mission: His mission. We should care about and be concerned about all the members of the Body, and in a special way about the missing members of the Body.
Still, we may often experience fear & trepidation about sharing the good news: maybe not sure what to say; don’t want to look stupid; don’t want to seem to ‘preachy’ or ‘holy roller.’ Yet, our witness is KEY in helping to build up the Body of Christ, key to the mission.
Last week Bishop Thomas talked about Jesus wanting to fill us.
But not only does Jesus want to fill us, He also wants us to overflow.
- To start with, we have to always be growing our own relationship with God through prayer, through Word and Sacrament, through the Church
- Say “God bless you” to someone…even when they’re not sneezing
- Let people know you’ll say a prayer for them, or offer to say one right there
- Give someone a rosary or other religious item
- Invite someone to something at the parish
- Building relationships: listening, building trust; when the time is right tell them Jesus loves them and has a plan for them; accompany someone in a relationship with God.
- Have a story ready
Our Gospel passage from Luke 4 is the end of Jesus’ “silent years” as He begins His mission.
Let us break the silence as well.
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