Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Proclaim the Good News

Proclaim The Good News 

Wednesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

September  5, 2012
By Jack Finnerty
When daylight came he left the house and made his way to a lonely place. The crowds went to look for him, and when they had caught up with him they wanted to prevent him leaving them, but he answered, ‘I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, because that is what I was sent to do.’  Luke 4:38-44
 I (Paul) planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth. Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who causes the growth.  For we are God's co-workers; you are God's field, God's building. 1 Cor 3:1-9
Almighty God,
every good thing comes from you.
Fill our hearts with love for you,
increase our faith,
and by your constant care
protect the good you have given us.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.
After studying today's readings and psalm, it was easy me to initially focus on the healings that comprised most of the text of the Gospel reading - Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law, and then spent a long night healing all the people sick with various diseases. I can imagine the many people thronging to Peter's the little house in Capernaum, filling the streets, each bearing their particular sickness or illness, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual. Jesus healed them all, some with just words; to others he laid hands on them, displaying the power and importance of touch. I've tried to imagine the thoughts and emotions that must have been swirling through them as they waited. Who was this man? Where did he come from? How does he do the things we've heard of him? Then it would be their turn, Jesus standing before them, praying, laying on hands; then this instantaneous and complete curing of whatever was wrong with them. As quickly as he came to them, he was gone; but their lives were irrevocably changed.  I thought back to the first healing Mass I attended and the immense peace that I received after the priest prayed over me. Lasting perhaps only seconds, I did not ever want those feelings to go away. How much greater must have been the reactions and feelings of the crowd!
To reconcile that gospel subject of healing with what seem to be the thrusts of the other readings,  look at the end of the Gospel reading. Jesus seems to change the subject when He said: "To the other towns also must I proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God." Yes, Jesus was showing his love and compassion to all people as he laid hands on them and cured them; at the same time, he was getting the attention of the people to just who was this person that more and more people were speaking of. But, to me, the important thought of this verse is Jesus' pointed explanation that he had a mission to do and that He needed to be about doing that mission. Jesus was very clear about his mission. He has given us the same mission in our lives!
In the first reading, Paul knows of the divisions in these churches of Corinth. Paul planted the seeds of faith; Apollos watered; God caused the growth. And Paul tells us that we are God's co-workers.
During the Cursillo weekend, the Action talk focuses on the "MAFBAFBAF" - Make A Friend, Be A Friend, Bring That Friend To Christ; introducing to the candidates the central point of Cursillo - Apostolic Action or Evangelization. As Catholics, as Christians, evangelization and bringing others to Christ is our mission. Look back at your notes from the weekend, what did you write about the Action talk? Read the Cursillo website's Mission Statement on "What Does The Movement Do?" and "How Is The Movement Linked To The Catholic Church?"
The next Women's weekend is September 13-16; the next Men's is October 11-14. Both weekends are to be at San Damiano Retreat Center, White Post, VA (near Winchester). Please check the web site (Women's weekend) (Men's Weekend) for ideas on how you can support or pray! There are candidate openings for both weekends - see the Application page.

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