4.02.2005

Sharing the Good News

Preach the good news always, use words only if absolutely necessary. Good old St Francis of Assisi.Today’s Gospel reading is along a similar theme – Mark 16:9-15.

(Steve Bogner also has an interesting reflection on his
blog worth checking out.)

In Today’s Gospel, first Mary Magdalene experiences the risen Christ, tells the others (with words) and is not believed. Then the two who were joined by the resurrected Jesus on their walk in the country told the others (with words), and they were not believed. (So at least it’s not just a case of the woman not being believed!). Then Jesus takes it into his own hands, and appears to the 11 so that they will finally believe. He charges them to "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature."

Which is where the St Francis strategy comes in. We saw earlier in the Gospel story that the best way to share the good news is not necessarily with words, but with our actions. People don’t always believe words, perhaps because there is always such a disconnect between word and deed. Be God’s love. Share God’s love. Live the good news in your daily life and who knows, you may help others on their own faith journey.

This morning as I was listening to the news reports about Pope John Paul II (who has been Pope pretty much my entire life, since I was in 1st Grade) I got to thinking … judging by the reactions to the not so sudden illness of an 84 year old man, he obviously has had a profound effect on people. Not just the faithful, but every creature. I heard stories this morning about Muslims in praying in a Roman Mosque for the Pope’s Health. The Chinese government expressed their concern, and Castro let the Cuban Archbishop have some radio time. Yesterday at work my non-Catholic (non-religious in most cases) coworkers were all obviously moved. There’s even a poll on CNN rating PJPII as a world leader.

History will debate his views and positions on a variety of topics. I personally have not always been thrilled with his take on women in the church, but can only hope that the next pope has as much of a concern for the world’s poor and the cause of peace.

There is no doubt, however, that he is a holy man. That he went into the whole world and proclaimed the Gospel to every creature. Using words, yes, but with his actions, care and compassion as well.

May his last days with us be peaceful ones, and may he find eternal peace and rest in Christ.

1 comment:

Sylvia said...

I personally have not always been thrilled with his take on women in the church, but can only hope that the next pope has as much of a concern for the world’s poor and the cause of peace.

Well said. I guess two out of three ain't bad! (Nevertheless I'm praying for 3 for 3 next time...)