Sunday, we celebrated Mission Sunday, and I seem to be a bit like a broken record lately. Once again, the readings spoke so clearly to the Mission of the Church, the mission of every baptized person, to proclaim Christ to the world. Listen again to the words from St. Paul to the Romans:
But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent? (Romans 10: 14-15)
This simple quandary of St. Paul, which is really a great instruction, begins with the need for faith; believing. Think of those who “preached” Christ to you…family, priests, nuns, parishioners, friends. Think of how you “learned” your faith, and the people involved in that process. Faith in Christ is a gift, but a gift once received that carries a great responsibility!
Most of us do not remember our Baptism, but it is the fundamental moment of entering the Life of Christ. It is this Life of Christ within us that is sustained by the other sacraments, and by the continual growth in faith. I am more and more convinced in the primacy this Life of Christ holds for me, for you, and for the Church. Our challenge is to embrace this priority of and for Christ! As we were blessed to have others “preach” Christ to us by the teaching we received, and the lives of faith modeled for and around us, so are we to proclaim Christ to others, in word and deed.
The other strong element of my own faith life and prayer these days regards the Promise of Christ to remain with us always, until the end of the age. (Mt 28:20) No matter how difficult life gets, or how dark the future may seem at times, Christ is always present; His Light is always shining as a beacon of hope. This Light always accompanies us.
For me, this is a big part of what conversion is all about; learning how to maintain a fixed focus on this Light. This Light not only give hope, but guides. The mere focusing on this reality and truth of Light helps to maintain one’s positive outlook. It is in the difficult moments to remain focused on this Light of Christ that faith and hope grow. It is through this faith that the power of God works and provides! More and more I have come to believe that it is the Power of God, in the person of Jesus Christ, that provides, and less and less is it I.
So, proclaim Christ, and allow His Peace, and Light and Truth power you through this life of faith.