Credible witnesses of the Gospel

by | Jun 28, 2016 | Formation, Reflections

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Jesus has the credible words of eternal life.  We believe in him.  Are we credible?

Those who hear Jesus proclaim the Good News are amazed at his credible words of grace.  He teaches with authority.

He wants us to be credible also.  The phrase “in pairs” indicates perhaps that credibility is indispensable.  Mosaic Law requires at least two witnesses for a testimony to be acceptable.

More crucial, however, than having people corroborate our testimony is living according to our preaching.  Nothing puts into question our credibility more than hypocrisy.  Those who do not practice what they preach are hardly credible.

We preach that the Lord is the Master of the harvest.  He is the one who hires laborers and pays just wages.  He brings growth to what we plant and water.  To practice what we preach means we cannot dispense with prayer.

We can do nothing at all without the Lord.  Hence, we beg him humbly to give us “the power to tread upon the full force of the enemy,” to equip us for the fight against the misery that reigns in the world.  We are too few, besides, for the great harvest before us.  We ask the Lord, therefore, to send out laborers for his harvest.

To pray so supposes, of course, that we will not reject the co-workers—of both sexes, of every race, tongue, people and nation—that the Lord sends.  Nor shall we act like John.  He reported to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.”

Hardly credible likewise are those who lack consuming zeal for the Gospel and single-minded devotion to it.

They do not go on their way to announce and live up to the Good News courageously, meekly, simply and in a mortified way.  They cannot leave their secure structures.  They do not think as St. Vincent de Paul.  The saint says to a missionary (SV.EN II:517-518):

We are not sufficiently virtuous to be able to carry the burden of abundance and that of apostolic virtue and I fear we may never be, and that the former may ruin the latter.

And if the comfortably settled down have no choice but to go on their way, they will move about from one house to another.  They are after the best accommodation. Hence, their “apostolate” is one of convenience.  They rejoice that even prominent people are subject to them.

Unlike the one who offers himself as our nourishment, those installed in comfort would rather consume than be consumed.  They do not so much seek to comfort as to be comforted.   They do not bear the marks of Jesus in their bodies

Lord, make us credible witnesses of your justice, mercy and peace.

July 3, 2016
14th Sunday in O.T. (C)
Is 66, 10-14c; Gal 6, 14-18; Lk 10, 1-12. 17-20

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