Friday, July 1, 2022

As Christians, We Are To Bring Peace Reach Out To Others So All Can Become One

About every five years or so there is a knock at our front door usually by two young men each nicely dressed in a white shirt, tie, dark colored pants and suspenders.  They always have smile on their face, some pamphlets in their hands and sometimes a bible.  They introduce themselves by name and tell us they are from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

My standard reply, if I answered the door, was: I am a Catholic and not interested but wish you a good rest of the day as I begin to close the door.  They respond with a thank you and something about prayer as they walk back to the street.  It is like we have pre-rehearsed what we will say prior to the door opening.

 After being ordained a deacon, I decided, primarily out of curiosity, to let them into our home without announcing who I was and offered them water as we sat in the living room.  They started the conversation by thanking me for letting me in and time to discuss why they were there.  In brief, it was a part-rehearsed and part personal talk about their faith and why they want to share it, as well as where I am in my faith journey with God.

 The entire meeting lasted about 15 minutes and I found their approach to be quite sincere and inviting, if I were not already a member of the Catholic Church or any Christian Church.  They left some literature before they left and wished me a blessed journey in my faith as well as prayers for me and my family.

What I enjoyed about the visit was that there was no pushy sales pitch or threat that one would be condemned to hell, if you did not join their church.  It was more of a mood of encouragement that God loves His creation and they invite you to see what God offers for your salvation in their faith.

Jesus in St. Luke’s Gospel reminded me of that time and made me wonder again why we don’t go door to door, even with our current parishioners to meet and greet our membership.  For some odd reason we seem to be more comfortable meeting people at Church than to be on their home turf.  The excuse I most often hear is that we are intruding or we may be rejected for whatever reason.  It gives me a feeling that we are not connected even as Catholics.

And, yet, some of my most positive times I have had with other Catholics are when I am at their home.  We are more likely to share our faith and how we find so many areas in common to strengthen our parish and our individual and group journeys.  It is why many parishes these days are looking at ways to evangelize to bring God into our lives more often and to be active to grow in faith, hope and love.

Jesus gave the disciples of His day an opportunity to go among all people of His geographic area to spread the Good News of what He, along with His Father and the Holy Spirit, offer to everyone created.  Though they were gifted for a time to drive out demons and cure the sick in tandem with their visits, they also met with all people of the area, not just disciples like them.

Our readings and Gospel this Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time are asking us to take up the offer of spreading God’s message of peace and joy.  For us, it should be a simple choice as baptized Catholics, because we promise to do this in our faith journey.

Let us start this week to reach out to those in our family or with friends to share our faith walk.  As we continue, let us go beyond our comfort zone and talk with those who have not been touched we have.  Jesus says He is with us through the good and difficult times.  He will help you to be the disciple He called us to be.  And, more importantly, we have reached beyond our self-imposed borders to help someone else receive eternal life.  That is what we are called to do.  And, as Jesus said in today’s Gospel: “Our names are inscribed in heaven” because we said yes to God.  Sometimes that means saying yes to someone else created by God like us.     


Reading 1: Isaiah 66: 10-14c
Reading 2: Galatians 6: 14-18
Gospel: Luke 10: 1-12, 17-20

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