July 12, 2015 – Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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If you were told this week to find a partner and to go to your local mall or shopping area and explain being Catholic to people, would you do it? If not, why not? What do you think you would need in order to be convinced to do it? Money? Study guides? New laptop as reward?

This week we hear the great story of how the disciples, whom Jesus chose to share His ministry, were sent out without Jesus there with them, just in pairs, to go and share the good news of the Gospel. Sounds very Jehovah’s Witness-like, doesn’t it? When we see two nicely-dressed people knock on our door, the answer is usually, “shhhhh, everyone quiet, don’t answer the door. Pretend we are not here!” I often wonder how the Jehovah’s Witnesses feel.

You know, some of those people who come to your door are literally living out this week’s Gospel passage as a part of their formation for the Mormon Church. Sometimes I wish Catholics would have such courage and conviction. I don’t think it’s an accident that the Mormon Church is the only Christian denomination that is growing. They actually share what they have come to know. The New Evangelization is about sharing the story. Maybe not by knocking on doors, but certainly by actively sharing the stories of what we have seen and come to know. Do you do that? Are you afraid to?

Just like how Pope Francis, while still in Brazil, would require his seminarians to go outside and not bring anything but just go spread the Gospel, we too are called to such courage by our Baptism. When your friends or strangers compliment you or maybe even ask you why you are doing nice things for others, we evangelize when we speak the truth. We should never just say thank you and accept the credit, we evangelize just like the disciples in the Gospel today when we say: “I am doing it because I am Catholic and this is what Catholics do.” We don’t need anything material to share the faith that way. We just need courage and faith that God will bless us…and He will!

This week, be bold and courageous. Tell someone WHY you believe in God and why you do things like read these scripture reflections each week. How have you “seen” God and what has He done in your life?

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