Friday 14th Week of Ordinary Time
Genesis 46:1-7, 28-30
Psalm 37, Mathew 10:16-23
When I felt called to be a priest the idea of preaching terrified me. I told my buddy Nate, “How can the Lord call me to be a priest, I would have to preach!?” Nate responded, “Stephen, if God is calling you to be a priest, he will give you the words you need to say. He will be with you” I have never forgotten that. I think the reason for my anxiety towards preaching was that it meant I would open my heart to talk about Christ. I would have to show my vulnerability.
How comfortable are we talking about Christ to others? Is evangelization easy? It can be challenging for us to talk about how Christ is acting in our lives, or to talk with others about Christ because it involves risk.
This past Sunday I had the chance to see my friend Nate, who I only see about 2x a year, but when we do they are the best of times. We were playing tennis and I was about to serve the ball, and I wanted to ask Nate, “how is your relationship with Christ?” I almost didn’t because I was afraid of making things awkward. We proceeded to have an awesome conversation about how Christ is acting in each of our lives.
In the Gospel today, we are told all of the reasons why we should not evangelize. Christ warns, there will be persecution, there will be rejection, and you might lose your family and friends all because of me. But then he says, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. This is what Evangelization is about, to share with others how God is always with us, how much God loves us, and how much God has changed our lives.
Today, we are challenged to respond to the call to evangelize by sharing our faith with those around us. Yes, we might be afraid, but we know that he is with us.
Finally, as we go out into the world today, let us hold this prayer in our hearts: “Jesus you want everyone to receive the awesome gift of your redemption! Help me to put away worry so that this life of yours can flow out of me and touch the people you put in my path.” (from the Word Among Us). How beautiful it is that Christ can use us to change the hearts of others. We just have to allow him.