“When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong”
Today’s readings point out to us that it is by God’s own power that His Kingdom grows on earth. But at the same time, if we cultivate it in our hearts, it can grow through us too.
Consider the Apostles. For the most part they were humble fishermen with few resources and little education, and some of them had very noticeable defects. And yet in spite of this, they managed to spread the Gospel to all the known world in a very short space of time. From a human point of view this is impossible to explain, especially when one considers all the obstacles and opposition that were in their way. But they trusted in God and managed this seemingly insurmountable task in obedience to Our Lord: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 18:19).
So, the message for us is that with God’s help, we can do what is seemingly impossible. There is a huge gulf between the duty we all have to spread the Gospel and the means we have to do it. But in the words of St Paul, “He [God] chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (1 Cor 1:27).
Society at the time of the Apostles and the first Christians was a world in darkness. As in our own day, low morals were commonplace and there was little respect for human life (See Romans 1:24-31). But the early Christians, from working within society changed all that. The seed was planted and the Gospel spread throughout the whole world. This grew into Christendom. The early Christians were no different from us, but with God’s help they worked miracles in the spread of the Truth. They were like tiny mustard seeds which grew “into the biggest shrub of them all.”
So, in our secular and atheistic society, let us not be afraid of what others think. The well-known media Bishop, Robert Barron said, “The minute you walk outside of your church on Sunday you’re in mission territory.” This means that today we will likely face opposition, persecution or ridicule if we proclaim Christ and stand up for His teaching and the Church He founded. This could happen at work or even at school. Being a Christian today is not easy! But these are always great moments to show Our Lord we love Him. St Paul wrote to Timothy, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power and love and self-control. Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord” (2 Tim 1:7-8). Go out and boldly proclaim Our Lord JESUS Christ!
Fr Paul Gillham IC