Friday, May 27, 2011

Sharing the Good News

Sixth Sunday of Easter Year A

Try to imagine that you have just won the first prize of a lottery ticket. What would you do? Would you keep this news to yourself? I’m sure that the first thing you would do would be to announce it to your family members and closest friends. You would want everyone to know. Have you ever had some good news that you wanted to share with people that you love? Good results at your schools exams? A promotion at work? The birth of your child?

Good news is to not meant to be kept as a secret. We share good news with the people who are closest to us – our family members and friends because we are proud of it. We want them to share our joy. This is what evangelization is all about. Jesus has died in order to save all mankind. He is risen and he has sent us the Holy Spirit to be our guide and friend. This is wonderful news! This is not something which we must keep to ourselves. This is not something that we should be ashamed to announce from our rooftops.

Each of us is a missionary of Christ. Each of us is entrusted with this responsibility to proclaim the good news. It is not only the responsibility of priests and religious. It is not only something which Protestants do. It is the work and responsibility of every baptized Catholic. To be a Catholic means one has to be a missionary.

How can we be missionaries? Many people often think that missionaries are those who have given up everything, their belongings, their family, their home in order to go to another country to spread the good news of the gospel. This is true of some missionaries, especially those religious brothers and sisters. But each of us is also a missionary in our homes, in our schools, in our neighbourhood, and in our working place.

We announce the good news of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God not only by quoting verses from the bible. More than anything else, our witness must come from our lifestyle and actions. Actions speak louder than words. In today’s first reading, the Samaritans came to accept the message of Christ through the proclamation of Philip not only because they had hear his preaching. They accepted the message because they saw the life witness of Philip. His actions spoke louder than words.

When proclaiming the word of God, we must always do it with “courtesy and respect and with a clear conscience.” In other words, we can never force others to accept our message. We must not belittle other religions or condemn other people for their beliefs. We must always remember that conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit. We cannot convert anyone else. We can only share the good news that we have received from Christ.

Let us pray today that the Holy Spirit will enkindle in each of our hearts the passion to share the good news of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom with everyone that we meet. Let us echo the words of the Psalmist: “Cry out with joy to God all the earth.”

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