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Father Muench Says...

The Gospels are about us

July 6, 2022

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Today, I would like to bring up something that I have written about before and rather often. As you may remember, I often encourage you to recognize that most Gospel stories that are read at Mass are about us, you and me, now in our time. Today I want to share with you a couple of such examples.

This morning, as I was celebrating Mass, a daily Mass, and as I was offering a homily on the Gospel, I noticed how this Gospel story was about me and you. This story from St. Matthew’s Gospel described the apostles crossing the sea in a boat. Jesus was with them. Suddenly a violent storm blew up. The apostles were frightened and disturbed. They looked to Jesus for help. Jesus stood up and actually calmed the storm. Then Jesus said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith.”

This story is also about us. Here Jesus teaches us even now, just as he taught those apostles that when we are with Jesus, that the terrible storms in our lives will be calmed. His message to us is that fear has no place for people of faith. Jesus wants us to never forget that he is always ready to calm our storms, especially the fears that disturb out lives, almost every day. Life can be upset by so many fears so very often. Jesus speaks to us just as he did to those apostles, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith.”

Fear can be so debilitating. It can cause us to lose all confidence. It can cause us to lose so much spirit in life. Jesus calls us to be people of faith and turn to the Lord as the apostles did. Let us pray for a strong, alive faith, asking the Lord to combat all our fears. Faith is what reveals Christ’s presence on our boats; faith is what permits God to console our heart, calm our fears and preserve our joy amid problems and fears. God gives us the confidence we need to face our fears.

Another example, – a story that I noticed will be read in this Sunday’s Mass: This story begins as Jesus sends seventy-two disciples out in pairs to every town that Jesus planned to visit himself. This story is also about us. Even today Jesus continues to send us out – all seventy-two of us – plus so many more! We are being called to bring ourselves and to lead others to a closer relationship with the Lord. This is Jesus’ challenge for us, “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for this harvest.”

Do you realize what Jesus is saying? Now is the time to transform our world. This world of ours needs the Lord’s message, but the Lord needs us to be part of that mission. Even today the Lord’s call continues.

Jesus makes his message very clear, the message of peace, the peace of the Lord for us all. Peace must be the spirit of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God means making our world a place of love and peace. We are marching out as the seventy-two did.

This Gospel story goes on to tell us that when the seventy-two returned to Jesus, they came back rejoicing. They found their message transforming, bringing peace and love of the Lord to others. They themselves were changed also as they brought the Lord’s call to others. This story is ours, for you and me.

So, each time you go to Mass listen carefully to the Gospel, or even better read the Gospel for that Mass. Take the time to find yourself in the story each time you participate in the Mass. This will strengthen your relationship with the Lord. He was thinking of you. He was thinking of each one of us, when he was teaching on this earth so long ago.

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