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Opposition to Evangelization has gripped my country, India. The Government has been tactfully and tacitly curbing the spread of Christianity. Despite this, the Church has been making remarkable strides in its growth. The mandate of Christ given at the time of His Ascension: “ Go to the whole world and make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19) cannot be bypassed. All of the three readings of this weekend highlight the mission of Evangelization.
It is a given fact that the Israelites in the Old Testament were very faithful in keeping their faith alive and uncontaminated by any pagan religion, though the tragedy is they never had any desire to convert or accept others/foreigners to their way. In the first reading today we read in Chapter 56 of Isaiah about the conditions for accepting into the covenant (Israel’s faith) people from foreign lands who wish to serve Yahweh. The second reading also speaks in the same tone: that the gentiles/ foreigners do not have to adopt Jewish tradition to embrace Christianity. The Gospel reading mentions a Canaanite woman (foreigner) asking a favor from Jesus and He grants her wish and cures her daughter who was tormented by a demon. Thus we can conclude that all are invited to belong to His kingdom. Christianity is truly universal.
A troubling question of this contemporary world is “ Do we really need to Evangelize?”
For your answer please refer to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 846, 847, 848. For your further reflection:
We may think it is enough for people to live sincerely and well according to their own lights, whether they are people of our faith, of some other faith, or of no faith at all.
God bless you.
Please mark your calendars for a welcome celebration for Fr. Bernard D’Sa. There will be a BBQ and drinks provided with parishioners bringing their home cooked dishes for a potluck…so pull out those favorite recipes! More information next week.