Grace to you!
On this special day as we celebrate the life of Saint Luke the Evangelist, I was wondering what might be needed to set the world on fire for the Lord.
Surely, the fervor of the apostolate comes from the Holy Spirit, “the principal agent of evangelization” (Pope Paul VI). Conversion and ongoing renewal are God’s work through the grace of the Holy Spirit. No one can encounter God if God has not first encountered the person.
Hearts are converted and are on fire for God when the Holy Spirit encounters them through strange and mysterious ways. The Spirit touches their hearts and stirs their minds to faith in the Risen Lord. This is basic Christian theological truth. It's Christian conversion 101.
We equally know God makes use of individuals to lead people to faith. We are the vehicles of the encounter between God and God’s people. I hope you know that YOU and I are God’s vehicles—no matter how imperfect—of revelation to the world today.
I love one of the insights from Pope Francis’ Encyclical, The Joy of the Gospel. He said believers aren’t simply missionaries and [then] disciples, but missionary disciples. Meaning, by the very nature of our calling as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are by that fact missionaries. It’s a natural consequence of being a true believer to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Mt 5:13-14).
The Lord told the disciples, “The harvest is rich but the laborers are few “(Luke 10:2). Have you ever considered what the words would mean for you?
Surely, many think of the need for more holy, zealous and devout ordained ministers to labor in the vineyard of the Lord. I believe this is only one part of the equation, though an essential part.
The other part, namely YOU, the believer, called to be an evangelizer also, is crucial. Don’t you realize that the little testimonies of your life as a person of faith, and the joy, courage and love of your witness of life about the Christ, even those indirect testimonies, could, by the grace of God, set the world on fire for God?
You may say, in my professional life, there isn’t any need for this “Christian thing.” How would this fit in my business life, my social life, etc.? I don’t want this religious stuff shoved down people’s throat.
I get that. No need to force anything. Simply be YOU, the true believer—the one who loves as Jesus loves; who is compassionate as Jesus is; who is merciful, as Jesus is. Be salt to a saltless neighborhood, the voice of peace to a hostile environment, the figure of honesty and truth to a dominion of lies, and the example of selfless service, love and devotion to a club of haters. It won’t be long before you see how someday, some may want to see or know Jesus Christ or love him more because of YOU.
I believe YOU, not simply somebody else, can make the difference. YOU are the desired laborer, employee of the Lord. YOU are part of that story.
I pray you take up this opportunity. Amen.
May Saint Luke, the Physician and Evangelist, pray for us. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Feast of Luke the Evangelist, October 18: 2 Tim 4:10-17; Lk 10:1-10]
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.