In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus Christ appoints 72 disciples to collaborate in His mission
of proclaiming the Kingdom of God (Luke 10:1-12, 17-20). Jesus, God the Son, insists
on choosing disciples to serve the Kingdom as co-workers in the Truth. He came to
announce the Good News, to redeem us and save us from our sins and bring us Home
to Heaven – and Jesus wanted us to participate in His mission, as He established His
Church on His Apostles, charging them and all of His disciples to keep spreading the
Gospel to the ends of the earth until the end of time (Matthew 28).
As Bishop Donald J. Hying has reminded us, Jesus wants not only the 72, but each
of us to share in His saving mission, to be members of His Mystical Body on earth,
the Church – to be co-workers in the Truth, evangelizers, helping to build up the Body
of Christ in love (Ephesians 4), for love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8). When we
evangelize, by word and example, we bring the Gospel to others, Christians and non-
Christians, and help them to know, love and serve the Only Savior of the world, to meet Jesus Christ, crucified and risen from the dead, in a life-affirming and life-changing way.
During Mass on June 25th, when he was installed as the fifth bishop for our Diocese
of Madison, Bishop Hying urged us all to respond to God’s call to evangelize: “In
God’s time, 2,000 years is merely the blink of an eye. So the Church is always just an
hour after dawn, the Sun has just come up, Christ has risen from the dead, and Mary
Magdalene is running down the path to tell the Apostles that the tomb is empty…
This is our moment to boldly proclaim Christ, to live the faith, and to move forward
the mission of the Church with joyful confidence in the Holy Spirit.”
For each of us to evangelize, we need the grace of the Holy Spirit and His gifts of
wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, piety, fortitude and fear of the Lord, so as to bear His fruits, including love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, modesty, chastity. God calls us to be holy and courageous, not lukewarm or politically correct, when proclaiming the Truth, as we invite and encourage people to follow Jesus, always with love. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we know that the Faith can challenge our comfort zones, choices and habits, especially when they conflict with Jesus’ life-affirming and loving teachings. When we proclaim the truth about human life, from conception to natural death, about marriage between one woman and one man, and about the family, we challenge others and ourselves to live more fully for God. Let us take courage from the Holy Spirit, like Saint Mary Magdalene, Saint Peter, Saint Paul and all the saints, and proclaim the Truth with love, for God is love (Ephesians 4; 1 John 4). As we do so, let us pray for God to strengthen Bishop Hying as he dedicates the beginning of his ministry in our diocese to the Sacred Heart of Jesus – for all leaders in the Church should have the Heart of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, in their words and deeds.
With peace and prayers in Christ,