GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 24TH APRIL 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 24TH APRIL 2017
MONDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK OF EASTERTIDE
FIRST READING: Acts 4:23-31
PSALM: Psalm 2:1-9
GOSPEL: John 3:1-8
Pope Francis writes, “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security” (Evangelii Gaudium No. 49).
In matters of evangelization, let us be honest with ourselves, many Christian communities in the Body of Christ have a long way to go. For fear of soiling our elegant shoes in the mud of mission fields, many of us have coiled ourselves up in our comfort zones. We groan that the number of Christians in some of our churches are reducing and yet we are unprepared to go out into ‘the rain and the scorching sun’ to search for the lost sheep. For some of us, supporting our favourite soccer teams mean more to us than supporting the cause of evangelization. In some places, the subject of explicit evangelization hardly appears on the agenda of church pastoral council meetings, and even if it does, it is put on “item 12”, just before “item 13”.
Faced with a hostile environment in Jerusalem, characterised by threats and the prospect of persecution, the early Christian community lifted up their voice in prayer. As they prayed, “the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). It started with prayer and ended in evangelization.
Churches that pray less care less about evangelization. Look around you and you would observe that Christian communities that are committed to evangelization are praying communities.
The Body of Christ needs a shake up. We need a revival that would wake us up from our slumber. Now is the time for those who love the Church to rise up in prayer. Let us pray for another wave of “divine shaking” akin to that which is recounted in the text of the First Reading. Then we shall go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit proclaiming the Gospel with boldness wherever we find ourselves.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, shake up your Church. Shake it hard and cause us to arise. Fill us anew with the power of your Holy Spirit and send us forth to proclaim the Gospel boldly. Cause us to launch forth into new territories and to take your word to places where we once recoiled. Let your Spirit blow where it wills. For the sake of your name and for the love your Church we pray. Amen.
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).