8 November 2019
My brothers, I am quite certain that you are full of good intentions, perfectly well instructed and able to advise each other. The reason why I have written to you, and put some things rather strongly, is to refresh your memories, since God has given me this special position. He has appointed me as a priest of Jesus Christ, and I am to carry out my priestly duty by bringing the Good News from God to the pagans, and so make them acceptable as an offering, made holy by the Holy Spirit.
I think I have some reason to be proud of what I, in union with Christ Jesus, have been able to do for God. What I am presuming to speak of, of course, is only what Christ himself has done to win the allegiance of the pagans, using what I have said and done by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus all the way along, from Jerusalem to Illyricum, I have preached Christ’s Good News to the utmost of my capacity. I have always, however, made it an unbroken rule never to preach where Christ’s name has already been heard. The reason for that was that I had no wish to build on other men’s foundations; on the contrary, my chief concern has been to fulfil the text: Those who have never been told about him will see him, and those who have never heard about him will understand.
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘There was a rich man and he had a steward denounced to him for being wasteful with his property. He called for the man and said, “What is this I hear about you? Draw me up an account of your stewardship because you are not to be my steward any longer.” Then the steward said to himself, “Now that my master is taking the stewardship from me, what am I to do? Dig? I am not strong enough. Go begging? I should be too ashamed. Ah, I know what I will do to make sure that when I am dismissed from office there will be some to welcome me into their homes.”
Then he called his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, “How much do you owe my master?” “One hundred measures of oil” was the reply. The steward said, “Here, take your bond; sit down straight away and write fifty.” To another he said, “And you, sir, how much do you owe?” “One hundred measures of wheat” was the reply. The steward said, “Here, take your bond and write eighty.”
‘The master praised the dishonest steward for his astuteness. For the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light.’
Those who have never been told about him will see him, and those who have never heard about him will understand.
I always remembered what my former parish priest said to me. He said that, “The Church is missionary in nature.” That statement stuck to me for the past 15 years because I never looked at the Church in that way. I always taught it was meant to be a place where people gathered and formed communities.
St Paul’s sharing in the first reading is important. He always had within him that missionary zeal to spread the Word of God to those who have not heard of it. This is an instructive lesson for us because we are also called to be missionaries. We don’t need to go to an overseas country but can stay within our comfort zone.
Evangelisation begins at home. Our families may have members who have stopped going to church or are living an ungodly state of life. We are called in today’s readings to work towards evagelising this group of people and show them that we love them. God the Holy Spirit will guide you in making the correct decision when the opportunity presents itself.
Let us pray that we have the courage to accept the challenge of evangelisation and to reach out to the people whom we often neglect, the people close to us.
(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, let us discover what it means to be true evangelists who have a spirit of courage to preach to the people around us.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all who hold the faith dear to them.