Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Spread the Good News

November 30, 2011

Feast of Saint Andrew, apostle

By Colleen O'Sullivan

For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news! (Romans 10:13-15)

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-20)


Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

(St. Teresa of Avila, 1515–1582)


As I read today’s Scripture readings, I couldn’t help but reflect on my religious education as a child. I am old enough to have been brought up on the Baltimore Catechism. Everything as presented to us was very precise, very clearly delineated. God’s expectations of us were that we would go to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days, we would not tell lies, we would not steal, we would not kill anyone, we wouldn’t wish for other people’s possessions, and we would not eat meat on Fridays. I don’t remember ever being told as a child that all that is just the beginning of living a faith-filled life; that Jesus would, at some point, call us to set aside what we’re doing, follow him and bring the Good News of the Gospel to others throughout the world.

Yet that is the theme of our Scripture readings for today - proclaiming the Good News. Jesus sees Andrew and his brother, Peter, at work. He calls them to leave their fishing nets and follow him. He says he will make them “fishers of men” if they do. He doesn’t promise them anything other than that he will turn them into evangelists for the Kingdom of God.

Jesus calls you and me, too. He asks us to reorder our priorities and follow him, not just for our own sakes but for the sake of proclaiming the Word and making new disciples. As St. Teresa of Avila reminds us in her prayer, Christ has no body, no hands, no feet on earth but ours. Ours are the feet with which Christ now walks to do good. So, if anyone is going to tell the world today about God and God’s Kingdom, it will have to be us.

St. Paul underlines the urgency of the task. Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will receive the gift of salvation, he writes. But think of all the people who’ve never heard the Word or experienced the love of God. Think what they’re missing! We are truly called to be the messengers of the Good News today.


Make a friend. Be a friend. Bring a friend to Christ. As you reflect on the events of your day, can you recall any moments when you shared the Good News with someone else? As you look to tomorrow, what action could you incorporate into your day to do that?