Have you ever seen yourself as a person who is called to introduce others to the person of Jesus? Most Catholics do not. They do not envision that they are the ones to go door to door to talk about Jesus. This is often seen as something “the Protestants do”, or the Mormons. But as Catholics, we are not so likely to view ourselves as those door to door evangelists. But if not us, how is it that people are to get to know Jesus? How is it that others will be brought to our Church? How is it that Jesus can get more disciples? Today’s readings issue a profound challenge to each of us to see ourselves as missionaries.
Catholics are not very good at talking publicly about their faith. And be sure, for many years really was not a pressing need for Catholics to think of themselves as evangelists. After all, parishes were filled, priests were abundant, and Catholic schools did not lack for students. and perhaps in these days of abundant, at least in the United States, we lost sight of the gospel mandate of Jesus: go, teach, and make disciples of all nations.
Both the first reading of the gospel today speak of this type of reluctance on the part of those called to proclaim the life of faith which God calls everyone. For Isaiah, it is his wickedness that stands in the way. In the gospel, disciples are afraid because of the immense task of confronting evil in their day. What stands in the way for us?
For if we believe that we have found a tremendous and new way of life, one that is the pathway to living forever, to finding deep fulfillment, and discovering the purpose for which we were created, I would we not want to share this with others? Perhaps for the same reasons we encounter in today’s readings.