Fr Rodney Kissinger, S.J.

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Jesus told the leper in today’s Gospel, “See that you tell no one anything…The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.” (Mark 1:40-45) “He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.”

The Good News is not something you can keep to yourself. To experience the Good News is to experience the urge to share it. This is evident throughout the Gospels. When Mary conceived Jesus at the Annunciation she went immediately to Elizabeth at the Visitation. When Jesus called Andrew he immediately told his brother Simon. The Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well told the whole town. Discipleship and apostolate go together. They are two sides of the same coin. You cannot have one without the other. Christian faith is indissolubly both an acceptance and a sharing of the revelation of Jesus.

God deals with us personally and individually, but not as isolated individuals. He deals with us as members of a community, the “chosen people,” the “people of God.” God wants everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. This is evident in the Scriptures. God dealt with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not as isolated individuals but as patriarchs of the “chosen people.” God made a covenant at Sinai not just with Moses but with all of the Israelites. Jesus came not just for Mary but for all of us. Jesus taught his disciples to pray not my Father but Our Father.

The gifts of God are meant for all. Jesus told his disciples, “The gift you have received, give as a gift.” The gift is meant primarily for the one who receives it. But it does not stop there, it must overflow to others. Otherwise, it will be locked up within us and stagnate. If we share it with others, it remains alive and dynamic. This is the strange math of Christianity we add by subtracting and multiply by dividing. This is the paradox of Christianity we find our life by losing it.

Jesus first called his followers as disciples, “Come follow me.” Then after training them he sent them out as apostles, “Go into the whole world and make disciples of all nations…” Discipleship and apostolate, this is the intake and the output, the ebb and the flow, the centripetal and centrifugal forces, repeated over and over again, that supply the dynamic of Christianity.

This dynamic is also evident in the Mass. We assemble together as disciples to hear the Word of God in the scripture, and to receive the Word of God in the Eucharist. Then we leave as apostles, “The Mass is ended. Go in peace to share the Word of God.” This is the dynamic: there is only one love. We are not the creators of love only the receivers and transmitters of the love of God.

To seek God is the greatest of all adventures, and to find Him is the greatest of all human achievements. The fact of the matter is that there is an even greater human achievement and that is after having found God to share Him with others.


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