What does it mean to be Jesus's disciple today?

May 16, 2019

In the first reading this Sunday we find that the apostle Paul and Barnabas, went to different communities announcing the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. From his conversion, Paul does not remain passive; instead he travels from one place to another to share with as many as possible the life and teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

What was the driving force of the Apostle Paul in his missionary work? The answer to this question is offered by Pope Francis: “The primary reason for evangelizing is the love of Jesus which we have received, the experience of salvation which urges us to ever greater love of him. What kind of love would not feel the need to speak of the beloved, to point him out, to make him known? If we do not feel an intense desire to share this love, we need to pray insistently that he will once more touch our hearts. We need to implore his grace daily, asking him to open our cold hearts and shake up our lukewarm and superficial existence. The best incentive for sharing the Gospel comes from contemplating it with love, lingering over its pages and reading it with the heart. If we approach it in this way, its beauty will amaze and constantly excite us. But if this is to come about, we need to recover a contemplative spirit which can help us to realize ever anew that we have been entrusted with a treasure which makes us more human and helps us to lead a new life. There is nothing more precious which we can give to others"(Apostolic Exhortation:" The Joy of the Gospel, # 264).

 

St. Paul "encouraged the disciples and urged them to persevere in the faith, telling them that it is necessary to go through many tribulations to enter the Kingdom of God." But he did not tell them that this was an easy way to live; rather, they should prepare themselves to face the difficulties that would come to them as a result of their faith in Jesus.”  There is a great need in the Catholic Church in the United States, Christians like Paul and Barnabas, men and women who are capable of proclaiming the Gospel in a society where human beings are murdered in the womb of their mothers; racism, hatred, and persecution against immigrants are promoted in different ways. Pornography and drugs destroy the lives of thousands of human beings. The evangelizing work of Paul and Barnabas, and the other apostles, was not in vain, thanks to them, the Christian faith has reached us: "I give you a new commandment: love one another, as I have loved you; and for this love, all will recognize that you are my disciples.”

 

How would you like to be involved in the evangelizing mission in the parish of Saint Andrews?

Fr. Marco Lopez