Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist

But as we were judged worthy by God to be entrusted with the Gospel, that is how we speak, not as trying to please men, but rather God, who judges our hearts. Nor, indeed, did we ever appear with flattering speech, as you know, or with a pretext for greed--God is witness--nor did we seek praise from men, either from you or from others, although we were able to impose our weight as Apostles of Christ. Rather, we were gentle among you, as a nursing mother cares for her children. With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you not only the Gospel of God, but our very selves as well, so dearly beloved had you become to us.

When we bring the Gospel to others, the best way to do so is not through trying to please or flatter them or to force or demean them, but rather to be truthful, gentle, and loving. This is why the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Spiritual Mother, is such an important role model for us to emulate. She shows us throughout the Gospel through word and deed how to magnify the Lord and proclaim His Greatness in all things. She does this through sharing herself with others. First, with her fiat to our Heavenly Father and her openness to the Holy Spirit with whom she conceived Jesus. Second, through the visitation of Elizabeth, whom she cares for. Third, with Joseph, whom she shares a life full of blessings and sorrows. Fourth, with Jesus, her Son and out Lord with whom she shared everything from conception to Passion to death to Resurrection. Last but not least, she shares herself with all God’s children by accepting God’s call to be our Spiritual Mother, who knows, loves, and serves us most perfectly in Heaven and desires nothing more than for us to fulfill God’s Will and join her in Heaven. So let us all be givers of our selves just as Jesus, Paul, and Mary gave themselves for us.

How can we become more effective preachers of the Gospel of God? In what ways can we share ourselves with our fellow children of God? Are we gentle in our approach to bringing the Good News into the lives of others?

O Lord, help us to share not only your Gospel, but also ourselves with all those we are asked to evangelize.


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