“Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the Good News and curing diseases everywhere.” (LK 9: 6)
The evangelization and any progress in our Programs is not based on massive actions or big events; it is always the same strategy—“from village to village,” from one house to another house, from one family to another family, from one couple to another couple. This is the best way to make a small community of people who think and believe the same and can support each other. Even when we have bigger Programs (like for 30 or 40 couples) still we work in small groups of 6 couples. Two people (a couple) can initiate a movement and 12 people are a good standard for starting a community.
“The Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“He said to them in reply, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.’” (LK 8: 21)
Our Lord shows us a different way of being related. We have a family of origin, but our friends become our family by choice. People we chose to be important for us become our friends, advisors, comforters, and inspiration. This is also true for those who share the same faith and vocation, who are growing as couples and make wise decisions about time and for whom they want to have time.
“Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.” (MT 9: 9)
How many of us have survived because we have met Jesus’ eyes? How important was the moment when “He saw” us? Only Our Lord can see hearts, their beauty, and the potential hidden from others. Our Lord can reveal our vocation and our gifts. Too often, our environment can see only our limitations, our weaknesses, and no potential at all. Thank God, there is always Our Lord Who sees.
“We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the glorious company of Apostles praise you.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“‘Are you envious because I am generous?’ Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (MT 20: 15-16)
We think that because we were created in God’s image and likeness, we can do the same—create God in our image and likeness. This generates all kinds of schisms, mistakes, confusion, and stresses. We expect God to behave as we do, taking sides and favoring or preferring one more than the other. The only way for us is to learn from Our Lord His ideas, His lifestyle, His priorities, and how He loves.
“Open our hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of your Son.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.” (LK 8: 15)
The “rich soil” can “bear fruit through perseverance.” The same happens to people of “a generous and good heart.” That kind of a heart lives always in abundance, has always more to give and more to share. Generous hearts are always grateful and know that every good comes from Our Lord; they do not need “to produce” good, but only “to bear” good, which is a fruit of God’s grace and love.
“Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God.” (LK 8: 1)
On one hand, it would be so nice to stay in the same place, work with the same group of people, and have a stable situation. On the other hand, there is also another vocation, to be all the time moving “from one town and village to another.” More difficult, more challenging, less understood, or accepted. It would be nice to have regular Programs in a few places, working with the same group of people and having stable lives, but we are invited to follow Our Lord’s example, moving Programs to new destinations, working with new people, and being in our journey all the time. Good coaches don’t sit on the bench when the world is in need.
“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.’” (LK 7: 39)
How easy it is to recognize somebody as a sinner; even our relatives or spouses. We are so quick to judge. Our Lord protects our dignity; He knows our hearts, our motives, and our weaknesses. When we come to Him, we can always count on His mercy and love. When we meet our spouses and relatives, maybe they can count on ours.
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest, says the Lord.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“To what shall I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.’” (LK 7: 31-32)
I don’t see any differences in our times. Our generation is still “like children.” There are not many people who want to take responsibility, who are proactive, who look at love as an action, not an emotion, who know how to protect their relationships and grow together in love. We can be the difference.
“Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life, you have the words of everlasting life.” (Gospel Acclamation)
Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (LK 2: 33-35)
We know that our hearts are something more than just hearts. They are places where God wants to be, where our thoughts are produced, and where we keep memories. What we keep in our hearts will be in our lives. We can protect our hearts from a bad environment, and we can organize a good one for them; our marriage harbor helps.
“Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary; without dying you won the Martyr’s crown beneath the Cross of the Lord.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (JN 3: 16)
Our lives started at one point, but will never end: “that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” We are invited to share eternity with God and our departed brothers and sisters. We were created by God, Who is Love, and because we are “so loved” we were saved and we are lead to heaven, where is the kingdom of love. Our homes are invited to be embassies of heaven, and our relationships are invited to shine with love which can cure our neighbors just by being loved and inspired to love.
“We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your Cross you have redeemed the world.” (Gospel Acclamation)