Seventh Sunday of Easter

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily for the Seventh Sunday of Easter: CLICK HERE!

Our First Reading today from the Acts of the Apostles, shares with us the process used to get a twelfth Disciple to replace Judas.  There are criteria that needed to be met that resulted in two candidates: Justus and Matthias.  Then they prayed, asking the Lord to show which one should be chosen.  Then they do, something that we would probably not do. The person is chosen by lots, which was the traditional way within Judaism to determine God’s will.

Of course, the Disciples of Jesus knew that they needed to continue the vision and mission of Jesus.  They were called as we heard on Ascension Thursday to, “go out into the world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”

But we too are called, as the Disciples of Jesus, in our time and place tp, “go out into the world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”  Or put another way – to evangelize.

We are all aware of many Evangelical preachers and churches, like:

  • Billy Graham, who died recently
  • Joel Osteen, who was in the area recently at the Times Union Center in Albany
  • Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church out west.

One day a Catholic Priest was speaking with Rick Warren and asked him what the secret to his success and that of the Saddleback Church was?  With that Rick Warren pulled out a tri-fold piece of paper with a series of bullet points that were taken from a December 8, 1975 Papal Letter by Pope Paul VI on EVANGELIZATION.  (Evangelinii Nuntiandi)

This is the basis of Rick Warren’s success over the years.  A Papal document that for some 25 years was ignored by Catholics, but not our Evangelical brothers and sisters.

This Sunday is not about what we did or did not do 40 years ago or even yesterday, but rather what we can do today and tomorrow as person, family and Parish “to go out into the world and proclaim the Gospel, the Good News to every creature.”

Of course the question that comes to mind is how can we evangelize, proclaim the Gospel? The ways are many, but let me share just a few from a brochure entitled, “Everyday Evangelizing for Everyday Catholics.”

  • Begin and end the day with prayer
  • Transact all business dealings honestly
  • Support Parish leaders
  • Send a Mass Card or other card of support to a person
  • Share a smile and personal greeting
  • Be gracious in the parking lot

There are lots of other ideas in the brochure available as you leave today.  Put another way, there are lots of ways every day for us to proclaim the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ to all we encounter today and every today or put another way: to love one another.