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EVANGELIZATION: PAUL AND US

Today’s first Mass reading was 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8.  What struck me about it was that Paul was a model of evangelization.  He had suffered and been shamefully treated for his ministry.  But, as he puts it in verse 2 “. . . we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the face of great opposition.”  Verse 4 tells us he did this because “. . . we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but to please God who tests our hearts.”  Verses 5-7 tell us how he did it.  He didn’t flatter people.  He didn’t seek glory from men.  He was gentle, like a nurse taking care of her children.

As Christians we too have been entrusted by God with the gospel, the good news, the message of salvation through Jesus.  We too are approved and called to share it, even in the face of great opposition.  Few of us have suffered and been shamefully treated like Paul.  But there is opposition to the gospel today.  It isn’t politically correct.  The Bible isn’t politically correct.  Jesus isn’t politically correct.  But we need to have courage in our God to declare it; not to flatter people, not to seek glory from men, but to fulfill our mission as Christians.  If all Christians would do this we could change the world.

The Responsorial was Psalm 139:1-6.  I love this Psalm.  I read it at my daughter’s wedding.  If you want to know how well God knows you, read this Psalm.

The gospel reading was Mark 6:17-29.  John the Baptist was beheaded for speaking the truth.  Unbelievably, that’s still happening in some parts of the world today.  May we all have the courage to speak the truth in love, regardless of the consequences.

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