Step #1: Lectio / Read
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
To make the name of our Lord God known… this is our mission. I think a lot of times we think of Christianity as being a good person with the goal of getting to Heaven in the end. This is part of it but in order to grow in our own faith we must make God’s name known to others. “Do not hide it under a bushel basket”. Our knowledge and love of Christ is not made to be kept to ourselves. Jesus’s final words in the gospel of Matthew 28:18 is “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” He did not say, be a good person and you will make it to Heaven. The command is to make disciples. That is the mission of the church and its people. This is what you were put on this earth to do.
Whether others follow or not is not on you, but it is on you to at least try. To try in a loving and specific way to your audience. To make the Lord known, does not mean pressing your faith on others in a forceful or condescending way, and I would hope we already know that. We must get creative. We must reach people on a way that they can relate to. Pope Francis says that anyone who has had an encounter with Christ is able to evangelize. You do not need a theology degree, be a missionary, or go to youth group every week to evangelize. If you know who Jesus is you can share that experience.
Do not be discouraged if others are not receptive. Paul speaks of this in the first reading today, "But now I know that none of you to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels will ever see my face again. And so I solemnly declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.”
Even Jesus, who is God, was rejected when communicating this truth. But He nor Paul shrunk from pressing on. Jesus says "Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” It is eternal life that we know Christ, this is all that we need in this life and the life after so if you ever think your mission to make the Lord known, to make disciples, is not worth it, insignificant, or anything of that nature, think again because it is eternal life. Heaven is literally on the line, why wouldn't you tell your friends? It is THE MISSION.
Sharing your faith can be difficult, but the fruits are tremendous. My Grandparents were 83 when they joined the Catholic Church because I shared with them my desire to be a missionary. They couldn’t believe I would chose such a career path and wanted to learn more. Next thing you know I was sponsoring them into the Church. No one is out of your reach. My brother was an atheist and now is a practicing Christian. No one to too far gone to know Christ. So lets plant some seeds or in some cases go deeper so that the name of Jesus is on the lips of all the living. I encourage you today to think of one person that you want to invest in to help bring them just one step closer to having a personal relationship with Christ.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
When have you encountered Christ? How would you explain that experience to someone else?
Who shared their faith with you before you encountered Christ? What did they do/say that made you want to get to know Jesus?
Who is someone in your life God might be asking you to reach out to and share your faith?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
"Evangelization is the mission."
"I can share my faith."
"Jesus is Lord."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Reach out to one person who you think you can help bring closer to Christ. Don't be creepy, but use the gifts that God gave you to reach out to this person and share your relationship with Christ.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Jen Mason, the LifeTeen Mission Trip Coordinator for group missions to Haiti.
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