The world is our oyster!

familyLast week’s focus — Jesus instructing his disciples for their mission of evangelization — continues in today’s Gospel and really in all the July Gospels. Remember, his instruction to his disciples is meant for us today! Vatican II lifted up the vocation of the non-ordained person by naming our mission: to make the world holy. We might be involved in our parishes, where the ordained are the worker bees, but our lay (non-ordained) vocational place is in families, workplaces, neighborhoods, schools, governments, organizations, institutions, the streets, etc. What is Jesus, instruction to us 21st century disciples this 13th week of ordinary time? It is to be sure to put Him first, and that means even ahead of our families. Wow. Families and their needs are so absorbing, aren’t they? Especially because today our culture puts so many expectations on parents and grandparents regarding what children need to succeed that more and more time and energy goes into nurturing them. Of course, Jesus is not telling us to leave our families or stop loving them. His words suggest that families need to stay open — open to be able to receive the prophet into their midst, able to give a cup of water to a stranger, able to support good and right things. A way to model that we are disciples willing to go beyond our families is just to tithe some time volunteering outside the family — and not in Church but in the “world” community! Or another simple way would be inviting people from our neighborhoods to dinner. We evangelize when we rub shoulders with people who are not “church people” and just “be ourselves” — people whose Jesus’ values and Jesus’ attitudes shine forth in the way we laugh and speak and listen and respond as disciples for whom Jesus is first!

– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia

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