We have a mission as Christians, to relay the Word of God. Just as the disciples were called to preach to the nations, we are also called to do so. As part of a large Christian community, we have an obligation to the other. We are called spread Christ’s love and mercy. While sometimes we may be proclaiming the love of Christ through our words, most of the time it is through our actions. Our actions can be relaying a completely different message than what we are proclaiming through word. Are we aware of this? That is what the disciples were called to do, to go out to preach to nations and tell the good news. In the first reading we see the disciples preaching to all nations and making those they preached to followers of Christ.
How are we bringing Christ to others?
As Christ says in the Gospel reading, "My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me." Are we always listening for the guiding voice of Christ? Do we always follow his will for us? I find that sometimes it can be hard to actively spread the Gospel message. Sure, we can say the words, go through the motions, but are we also exhibiting His love through our actions and works? By following the guiding voice of our Shepard, we can better understand His will and spread that to the nations.
So that we may not be discouraged we must keep in mind that we do not do this alone. He is always with us. We must be silent and vigilant in listening for his instructions to guide us to do His Holy Will. Much like a secret agent who has to "wait for further instructions", we must also be patient to hear what our "instructions" are from Christ. He will feed us, lead us, and care for us if we allow him to and listen for His voice. He speaks to us in so many ways, through prayer, people, but also in the silence of our hearts. Being a new member of the Retreat Preaching Team at Holy Name Retreat Center, I am so much more aware now and understand the saying "You cannot feed others unless you, yourself are also fed". In order to guide others we must also be willing to be guided.
Are we taking those silent moments every day to listen to what He has to say?
To be active witnesses proclaiming the Gospel, we must not only listen for Christ’s guiding voice but we must learn to be fed by Him. By doing these things we lay the foundation for us to be able to more effectively spread the Gospel not only through our words but our actions.
Kim Valdez is the Pastoral Associate at Holy Name Retreat Center in Houston, Texas.