The sun of justice will rise, with its healing rays. (Malachi 3:20)
The liturgical year draws to a close. A week from Sunday we will keep the Feast of Christ the King. Then Turkey Day. Then Advent begins.
Time marches on. Time heals all wounds. The Lord patiently delays the final judgment, so that we can repent of our sins and turn to Him. He makes time our friend: Every day He gives us 24 more hours to learn to love Him better.
And 24 more hours to testify to His goodness. Lord Jesus said that He would give us words. To those who believe; to those ready and willing to die for Him, He says: Don’t worry about what you will say. Just say it. You have more than your own limited mind to work with. You also have the Spirit of my Father within you. Speak in faith. Harmonize your tongue with the grace in your soul, and the right testimony will sound forth.
Important because the Lord has another reason for adding more days and months and years to human history: So that those who do not know God might come to know Him, through the preaching of Christ’s followers.
The Lord holds at bay all the terrifying insurrections, earthquakes, famines, and plagues that will accompany the end of the world—He holds it all at bay for the time being so that the sun of His justice might shine on all the earth through our healing words.
It’s not so terribly complicated, evangelizing. We can let the truth of God do the work.
The atheist might object: “You have no right to impose your personal views about God on me!” To which you or I could answer, “I don’t trust my personal views on God at all. My personal views have nothing to do with this. God has revealed His love.”
The Protestant might complain, “But the Church has so many sins in its past.” We could answer, “So does the human race. But God gives us grace for a better future through Christ’s sacraments, which are the Church’s sacraments.”
The Muslim or the Jew: “You blaspheme! To say that a man is God!” We reply, “Without Jesus, what hope do we really have, friend?”
Truth is, the target of our evangelization is not really atheism or Protestantism or Judaism or Islam. What we need to evangelize is: laziness, boredom, and the pathetically low horizons of our culture. Finding the right testimony to give on behalf of the Gospel, under such circumstances as we face, does not require a Master’s degree. It just requires childlike faith.
We say to the world: Yes. It really is possible to believe that Almighty God made me on purpose. To believe that He made me to be something special and beautiful.
Yes, by believing this, a person really can gain control over his or her life. We can make peace with our consciences and learn how to endure five minutes of absolute silence without going crazy. We can find depths within our souls that ring with music instead of noise.
No, the Church is not some abstract evil empire that does nothing but arbitrary things. The Church is a real family, made up of people I love and who love me. The Church doesn’t belong to the priest, or even to the bishop or the Pope. The Church belongs to God. “The Church” means: We, Christians, who love God.
And we say: Yes, world, God has prepared heaven for us. He suffered and died so that we could go there. He became one of us; He rose from the dead; He hears our prayers; He gives us His holy Body and Blood to sustain us.
It’s all true. As true as any seven-year-old could think it is—that’s how true it is, and more. We can believe with the simplest faith, and our hearts can find rest in this truth. God is much bigger than the nonsense that fills our brains most of the time. And the way to keep the peace that comes from such a heavenly perspective? Frequenting church on a regular basis.
The new liturgical year will begin in two weeks. A year’s worth of grace awaits us, dear brothers and sisters, co-workers for the Gospel of God. We hope for good things. God will give us many gifts: grace to heal our souls and make us more and more ready to meet Him. He will offer us countless opportunities to give testimony.
The question for us to ask ourselves is: Am I willing to die for Jesus Christ, the Lord in Whom I believe with all my heart?
If I’m not, then what am I doing that’s more important? Everything else seems kind of penny-ante by comparison. Did God put me on earth to watch tv? No: He put me here to take my share in the glorious Cross of His divine Son.
If I am willing to die for Christ, then no problem. The Holy Spirit will give me the words I need when I need them. Cleverness may or may not evangelize. Faith always evangelizes.
Faith declares: Thank you, Lord for giving me today! You gave me today for learning to love You better and give testimony to Your love. If Judgment Day is tomorrow, so be it.
The Christian faith gives a person the kind of courage and serenity that the world can only look at with amazement. Let’s share our faith as best we can.