“He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathers not with me, scatters.” – Matthew 12:30.
Those words should move us to show our love for Christ and others. If we do nothing else we can certainly pray with fervor for the all Catholic missionaries lay and religious.
The warped interpretations of Vatican II made room for an outright rejection of Christ’s Great Commission. Often we do not denounce error in the name of mercy. We refrain from gaining souls lest someone call us “proselytizers.” Frequently we neglect our obligation to teach the faith to the ignorant. We have denied Christ commandment to go and make disciples of all the nations until his return in glory. It is high time to correct course.
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ Matthew 28:16-20.
Times of distress
We live in a wicked age. There is not much time available to save souls or to raise a new generation of faithful priests. Many strategic areas of the Church are under the control of the indifferent, the modernists, the homoheretics, etc. Abominations are legion and yet Christ’s last commandment still stands: “Go .. make disciples … teaching them …” That is not directed to the Apostles only. Jesus is talking to you and me. I don’t think it’s pure coincidence that you and others are reading these words on something often called “the net”!
The early Christian disciples conquered the Roman Empire using the Roman network of roads. They never wavered in their determination to fulfill the Great Commission. We have extraordinary soul-fishing tools that would have amazed the first century Christians. What are we doing with what we have?
A call to action
Recently a friend of mine, a Catholic theologian, reminded me about something important. We need to expose the scandalous conduct of so many. Yet we must never forget to remind others that the Church is still holy. The holiness of its members does not determine the holiness of the Church (thank God!) She is holy because her mission is holy. In favorable or unfavorable times, our first objective is to call all souls to Christ.
Our Master has stated very clearly that he is going to come back when we least expect him.
“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Luke 12:35-40 NIV)
Urgent mission of redemption
In his encyclical Redemptoris Missio, John Paul II summed up perfectly the task before us:
“People everywhere, open the doors to Christ! His Gospel in no way detracts from man’s freedom, from the respect we owe to every culture and to whatever is good in each religion. By accepting Christ, you open yourselves to the definitive Word of God, to the One in whom God has made himself fully known and has shown us the path to himself. The number of those who do not know Christ and do not belong to the Church is constantly on the increase. Indeed, since the end of the Council it has almost doubled. When we consider this immense portion of humanity which is loved by the Father and for whom he sent his Son, the urgency of the Church’s mission is obvious. On the other hand, our own times offer the Church new opportunities in this field: we have witnessed the collapse of oppressive ideologies and political systems; the opening of frontiers and the formation of a more united world due to an increase in communications; the affirmation among people of the gospel values which Jesus made incarnate in his own life (peace, justice, brotherhood, concern for the needy); and a kind of soulless economic and technical development which only stimulates the search for the truth about God, about man and about the meaning of life itself. God is opening before the Church the horizons of a humanity more fully prepared for the sowing of the Gospel. I sense that the moment has come to commit all of the Church’s energies to a new evangelization and to the mission ad gentes. No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all nations.” (Redemptoris Missio, 3.)
We cannot minimize the urgency of this mission. We must act as the Christians of the first centuries. It is up to us to be once again the salt of the earth. We are the ones who must take the Gospel to a dying world. Our culture has lost its way and is dangerously close to the abyss of extinction. Most unfortunately, many princes of the Church, many priests and religious are behaving like enemies of the Cross. We have to pick up the slack. God and his Holy Angels will clean up the present mess. There is little we ordinary Catholics can do to fix this awful situation, other than fasting and praying. Having done that, our “supreme duty” is to continue to gather souls for Christ. The Church grows in times of turmoil and persecution. If we are busy proclaiming Christ we will not miss our reward.
‘Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat. And he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. (Luke 12: 35-38 NRSVACE)