From Our Pastor: Returning To Ordinary Time
We returned to ordinary time today, although some still keep Christmas going until February 2, the readings from 1st Samuel and John are both about evangelization, intercession, and response to the Lord. In the first book of Samuel, Samuel hears the Lord calling but doesn’t know it’s God speaking to him. Samuel needs Eli to teach him who the Lord is and how to respond to Him. He needs him to evangelize him, intercede for him and teach him how to answer God...here I am Lord. In the Gospel of John today John and Andrew hear John the Baptist announce who Jesus is and in other instances tells them to follow Him. John and Andrew needed John the Baptist to evangelize them, intercede for them and to teach them the response to the Lord. John’s gospel then tells us that Andrew then goes and does the same for his brother. Andrew finds Simon and evangelizes, intercedes and teaches him to respond to the Lord’s call.
If we didn’t have John the Baptist evangelize Andrew and we didn’t have Andrew learn from John the Baptist and go evangelize Simon, we wouldn’t have Peter the first pope. How sad it would be if Andrew was like many of us and didn’t evangelize, didn’t teach Simon to respond? We also look at the encounter with Jesus with Andrew and John after John the Baptist pointed them to Jesus. Jesus asks them where they are/what are they looking for. They answer about seeing where he is staying, which means they want to be his disciples. Jesus answers simply come and see. And Andrew does the same then with Simon. Brothers and sisters we don’t have to have all the answers to evangelize.
We don’t have to know every theological stance and be able to defend it to evangelize. All we need to do is tell people who it is we encounter, the Lord Jesus, intercede for them and tell them to come and see. This is how we evangelize, witness, invite, and bring them to the encounter with the living God. The Lord does all the work if we just bring people to Him. Love people, tell them of what Jesus did for you, invite them to come and see Him, and teach them how you respond to the Lord so they can learn to do the same. This is evangelization and it takes every last one of us, yes you too, to do this work. Do not be afraid. Be joyful and invite and welcome! This is evangelization! Now heed Jesus’ call to you to evangelize those you encounter. Hear his call to you and respond here I am Lord.
- Rev. Steven Arisman