In the first section of Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization, a new document by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, we read,
Christ calls all people to himself. Throughout his public ministry, the Lord Jesus welcomed the stranger, healed the sick, offered forgiveness, and expressed his eagerness to give rest to the weary and burdened. How do we, today, follow the call and summons of Jesus to seek out the stranger, heal the sick, and welcome the weary? Jesus, in and through his Church, wants us to experience the urgent vigilance of the father of the prodigal son so that as we anxiously await the return of missing family and friends, we will be ready to run to greet and embrace them.
This seems to me to be a rephrasing of the popular catchphrase “What Would Jesus Do?”
I’ve watched a lot of people be gone from communion with the Church. They don’t seem to miss anything and they’re not interested in returning–or not that they’ll let on, anyway.
It’s all too easy to get bitter and cynical about those who are away. It’s all too easy to leave them to what they want and to just forget about evangelizing them.
They don’t want to hear it, so why bother? I can’t change their mind, so why bother? What good can my example provide anyway, so why bother?
Wouldn’t Satan just have loved it if Monica had given in to this sort of reasoning?
But I’m not a saint.
Then again, neither was she. (You aren’t canonized until after your death. To all of her contemporaries, she was just a passionately holy woman.) The real difference between her and me is that she wouldn’t leave God alone. She kept praying.
I know plenty of nosy moms. I wonder what would happen if I joined my prayers to theirs?
How could we change the world if instead of asking what Jesus would do, we actually did it (and kept quiet)?
The weary and the burdened are all around us. Will they see the peace we have? Can we share the joy we hold within? Is there something we need to take care of before we can really live the witness we’re called to?
Copyright © 2012, Sarah Reinhard