Reflections - February 4, 2018

“Let us go on to nearby villages that I may preach there also.  For this purpose have I come.”  Mk. 1:38.
 
The Gospel of Mark tells us how Jesus evangelized.  It is a profound teaching of his evangelizing activities like His moments of rest, His communication with the people through simple parables, and His concern for the needs of the most vulnerable, the sick and “discarded”.  In the case of this scripture we learn about Peter’s elderly mother-in-law who is sick.  As Pope Francis says:  Jesus also expressed closeness and dialogue with His disciples and He prayed because no one can give what they do not have.
 
We find Jesus evangelizing in the synagogue, today it would be the church, meeting place, where sometimes perhaps we miss the chance to evangelize to those who come looking for spiritual help or give a word of encouragement to those preparing for the Sacraments.  The Lord sends them so that we may “comfort my people”, Is. 40:1.  Do we welcome them and console them, as Pope Francis says:  “with happy faces”, as Jesus did?
 
Jesus also teaches us that there may be others moments to be evangelizers.  We can be evangelizers in our daily life with our family practicing charity, compassion and affection, especially to the most vulnerable and the young.
 
Another opportunity to evangelize can be in the working world, “the social world”.  “Let us go on to nearby villages”, Mk 1:38.  A world that sometimes because of our indifference and apathy is occupied by ideologies and thoughts that do not build the Kingdom of God.  A world where human beings “live without hope” with “proposals from false idols” that dehumanize human beings and where they lose their sense of participatory justice in business dealings and in the communities.  There is a profound teaching of evangelization for those Catholic professionals and politicians who forget to build, as Jesus did, the kingdom of truth, justice, love and peace because what is most important in these social environments is to be “politically correct”.
 
Finally I would like to concentrate on Jesus’ prayer life.
 
Jesus prayed in silence.  It was a spiritual need of His to be able to communicate with His Father, God, and to discern His will.  The question for every evangelizer is:  Do you pray?  How do you pray and how long do you pray to the Lord?
 
May the Eucharist be the center of our evangelization and in the way we welcome others so that we may build bridges of integration in the Church and in our social context.