July 9, 2014
Today’s gospel: Matthew 10:1-7
Jesus sends out the Twelve on mission. The first instruction given is this: “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (v.5-6). Of course Jesus would go on to win salvation for all on the cross, and before his ascent into heaven would tell his disciples to go into the whole world to proclaim the gospel to everyone. But right now, they were restricted to the lost sheep of Israel.
Why? First, they were the people of God, the people with whom God had entered into covenant and with whom God had a long relationship. Second, they had the basics of faith in the one true God, and would be best placed to understand the fullness of God’s plan in Jesus. Third, the work would best be done in expanding circles, starting from a core and ultimately engaging everyone else.
This is why even the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, intended for worldwide evangelization, starts in Jerusalem (with the Jews or Israel), then Judea and Samaria (estranged Jews), then finally the pagan world (the ends of the earth) (see Acts 1:8).
Now we are about the New Evangelization. And the basic target of the New Evangelization are lapsed Catholics. They are the people of God, having the fullness of the Christian faith, and entrusted by God with missio ad gentes. If the world is to be evangelized, the work would have to start within the Roman Catholic Church, which unfortunately is full of lost sheep.
And those lost sheep are as many as 99 out of every 100 Catholics! Not all the 99 are necessarily lost to serious sin or the darkness of the world, but only 1 out of every 100 are living true Christian lives. And what is that? A true Christian is one who has met Christ and has a personal relationship with him, is living Christ and walking the path of holiness and Christian perfection, and is sharing Christ and actively participating in the work of evangelization.
So there. Go to the lost sheep, and bring in all those lapsed Catholics.
* * *
God bless you.
“For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.” (Phil 1:21)
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/livechristsharechrist
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/livesharechrist