Sunday, February 9, 2014

Today's Second Reading; A First In Effective Evangelization by: C.C.

"Now when I came to you, brothers, I did not come with any brilliance of oratory or wise argument to announce to you the mystery of God. I was resolved that the only knowledge I would have while I was with you was knowledge of Jesus, and of him as the crucified Christ. I came among you in weakness, in fear and great trembling and what I spoke and proclaimed was not meant to convince by philosophical argument, but to demonstrate the convincing power of the Spirit, so that your faith should depend not on human wisdom but on the power of God." (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
  In learning about the lives of countless saints and people of faith who have made the largest impact throughout the history and life of our Church, we come to recognize their lowliness and their humility as an undeniable virtue that made them 'superheroes' of faith. 
  It was a humble desire to completely rid oneself of all things worldly; a disregard for honor and praise, and a discomfort with personal glory and merit. This shared humble witness that we find in the lives of our Salvation history is something that we must recall and strive to imitate if we are to be effective servants of God in the Church. 
  If we desire to share the faith with others effectively, we must first recognize the importance of being deeply rooted in our Lord who first desires us and calls us toward Himself. We are sent forth on a mission, not for our own glory but to share the glory of God. Should we attain any worldly merit on account of His work it is to Him and for Him alone that the glory belongs.
  Today's second reading from St. Paul presents us with a man overwhelmed by the greatness of Our Father and a willingness to be obedient to the call he had received through Christ to share the message of the Gospel with others. He did not come forth with 'brilliance of oratory' and yet, when he spoke people responded with faith. It was in losing himself and surrendering his life to God that his works were fruitful and his speech divine. St. Paul was a witness to the transforming power of our Lord.
  "I came among you in weakness, in fear and great trembling". St. Paul came forth as a witness with his human frailty and brokenness, recognizing his human nature as one among others. By recognizing his ordinary place among them, St. Paul attributed to leading many toward the extraordinary power of our Lord. He came in the Spirit of Christ not to establish great things, but to point toward Eternal Greatness. To evangelize effectively we must remember that everything begins with our Lord through our surrender to Him, onward to others, and always for the glory of God. 
  It is not in the establishment of great things that we are successful in sharing the Gospel and beauty of the Church, it is by rooting ourselves in what has already been established by Christ Himself. (CC)

"Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility?" (St. Augustine)

1 comment:

  1. Nice reflection Celeste. This is such an important concept and it's also the hardest--we have to live our own lives in radical obedience to Christ before we can expect others to listen to us and follow Jesus because of our words. Why were the Saints so effective in converting people and spreading the gospel? Many of them were very talented and brilliant, but it wasn't their natural abilities that produced that supernatural fruit. It was their love of God and devotion to following his will. Of course, talent doesn't hurt, but the fruit that abided came from the work of the Holy Spirit through them.

    And all of that is not easy. In fact, it's very hard and kind of scary at times, isn't it? But that is it. We have to rooted in the Lord.