September 30th, 2004
Department of Political Science and International
Click here for a photo
of and information on this writer.
Click on the link below to
send an e-mail response
ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you
have in you, but do it with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15b-16
The gospel story for today tells of Jesus sending out his followers to offer
peace, to heal the sick, and to tell others that the “kingdom of God is at
hand for you.” Near the end of the gospels we hear Jesus commissioning
all of us to go out to spread the good news of reconciliation and to make
disciples of all peoples. We’re called to continue the work of those
sent out in today’s gospel.
The readings for today provide evangelism lessons that may help us to renew
our commitment to our commission. All three readings emphasize the
importance of offering a witness of hope. Consider the witness of Job
to his “friends” in the first reading. Amidst horrific life conditions
Job not only holds onto his hope, he tells those who have come to visit of
his confidence and hope in God. Some of us can recall times when we have
seen the power of a witness of hope in the midst of tragedy. I recall
the powerful witness of Tom and Mary Kay at the funeral of their son.
The hope of Jesus was so apparent through their actions and words at that
difficult time that many were touched and commented to one another about
how that witness encouraged them.
The Psalm puts words to a foundational hope for many of us that we
will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
A relationship with Jesus and a Christian community opens our eyes to hope
and healing that is available here and now. This hope makes a positive
difference in our lives. Jesus sends out followers to heal and teach
with specific instructions. The instruction from Peter, which is not
in today’s reading, offers specific evangelical instructions that I find
useful and challenging. It calls us to always be ready to answer anyone
who asks us to explain the hope that we have. To be ready for this
task requires that we spend time reflecting on our hope and the difference
it makes in our lives. We can then be more prepared when we hear questions
like: How can you be so cheery on a Monday? How did you ever
make it through tenure? How did you ever make it with three teenagers
in the house?
Lord, We thank you that you allow us to see your goodness in the
land of the living. Open our eyes to the difference that you make in our
lives. Open our hearts and eyes to see those around us who are searching
for hope. Open our hearts and mouths to share our message of hope with
to the writer of this reflection.
Ministry Office Guestbook