The Thrill Of Announcing The Gospel

The Church exists to evangelize. “The need to proclaim Christ boldly and courageously is a continuing priority for the Church; indeed it is a solemn duty laid upon her by Christ who enjoined the Apostles to ‘go out to the whole world, proclaim the Good News to all creation.'” Pope Benedict XVI.

In Canada one needs to keep warm and so many times I have to wear these long heavy overcoats with lots of buttons. When I am done, sometimes I find that the coat is uneven. What went wrong? Simple! Since I did not get the first button in the right hole, all the rest are out of sequence.

This is a parable about life. Jesus said it in the Sermon on the Mount, “Seek you first the kingdom of God and EVERYTHING will be given to you as well!” If He is not the high priority in life, many things in life will get out of whack as well.

An executive hirer who goes out and takes on corporation executives for other firms, once told me, “When I get an executive that I’m trying to hire for someone else, I like to disarm him. I offer him a drink, take my coat off, then my vest, undo my tie, throw up my feet and talk about baseball, football, family, whatever, until he’s all relaxed. Then, when I think I’ve got him relaxed, I lean over, look him square in the eye and say, “What’s your purpose in life?” It’s amazing how top executives fall apart at that question.

“Well, I was interviewing this fellow the other day, had him all disarmed, with my feet up on his desk, talking about football. Then I leaned up and said, ‘What’s your purpose in life, Bob?’ And he said, without blinking an eye, ‘To go to heaven and take as many people with me as I can.’ For the first time in my career I was speechless.”
Most people don’t do what you do, love what you love, feel the kind of passion you feel about that thing. And so? Most people don’t…build an ark. Most people don’t…lead people through the desert to the Promised Land. Most people don’t…die on a cross to save the world. But we are all glad one did!

This is not a true story but still it is a good one. A woman entered into an ice cream parlor in Kansas. She placed her order, turned and found herself staring face to face with the famous film actor Paul Newman. His blue eyes made her knees buckle. She finished paying and quickly walked out of the store with her heart still pounding. Gaining her composure she suddenly realized she didn’t have her cone; she turned to go back in. At the door she met Paul Newman who was coming out. He said to her, “Are you looking for your ice-cream cone?” Unable to utter a word she nodded yes. “You put it in your purse with your change.”

When was the last time the presence of God made us forget what was going on around us? Made us forget the dishes? Made us forget the ball game? Made us forget the bank account? Made us forget where…we put our ice cream cone?


(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.