Gathering the Sheep
AUGUST 5, 2018
My dear parishioners,
Last year I went with some members of my family to a nearby Asian country. We went there to admire the beauti-ful tourist spots, experience the culture and taste the food. After four days of stay, it was time for us to leave. It was Sunday noontime when we left the hotel for our flight home.
On our way to the airport, the lady driver of the van asked us if we have already attended Mass that day. I did not expect that question but I managed to reply that we plan to catch the evening Mass when we arrive in Manila later that day. Then I asked her if she was a Catholic. She showed me a picture of Jesus on the dashboard and proudly stated, “Yes, I am Catholic.” I was pleasantly surprised to meet a fellow Catholic in a predominantly non- Christian country.
But what surprised me more was the way she talked so naturally about Jesus and the Eucharist. She did not sound preachy; she just stated something that seemed like a very normal yet essential part of her life and faith experience.
That incident I recall because of the question the people in this Sunday’s gospel asked Jesus: “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus told them to believe in Him and in the Eucharist, the Bread of Life. Believing in Je-sus and making Him part of our lives, especially of our daily existence, will make it easier for us to talk about him. That was what that lady driver had shown us. She talked to us about something (Mass) and someone (Jesus) that form an essential part of her daily life as a Catholic. Talking about her faith is something so natural and effortless for her to do.
Lately in my homilies I have been challenging you, my dear parishioners, to talk about Jesus to other people especially to those who seldom or never come to church. This is part of our being Christians; this is part of our mission as dis-ciples of Jesus. I know many of you want to do this but just don’t know how. To believe in Jesus is the first step. Once we have believed in Jesus and accept-ed Him into our daily lives, only then can we credibly and effectively talk and preach about Him. And it is essential that we preach about Jesus. Romans 10:14 tells us: “How can they call on the one they have not believed in ? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
Our parish needs more people to talk about Jesus. Our parish needs more peo-ple to talk to other people about God’s great love, mercy, kindness and compas-sion. Our parish needs more people to talk about how good God is. Our parish needs more people to share the Good News to all.
Ask yourself: “What can I do to accomplish God’s work here on earth?”
God bless you all and may you have a blessed week ahead.
Prayers and blessing,