Sometimes, we are stressed out by the demands of our daily life. Many of us come home after a long day at work, prepare meals, do other domestic chores, and spend the rest of our time with family and friends. There is not much time left to do something else. The message of today’s reading from the second letter of the Apostle Paul to Timothy is easily put aside in this context. Paul encourages Timothy to proclaim the Word, whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether people want to listen or not. What Paul asks of Timothy, he also asks of us! However, is he not asking too much of us? Aren’t we too busy for that?
Though Paul obviously means “convenient or inconvenient for others” we can also include our own convenience or inconvenience of proclaiming the Good News of Christ. I find myself often pushing aside Paul’s call to proclaim the Word; I am just too tired after a day of work and thinking of doing something else, on top of what I have been doing, is not a priority for me. My mind is already full with so many thoughts and ideas; pondering how I could proclaim the Word is not my main concern. I often fail to integrate proclaiming the Word because I regard this task as something that I should do in addition to my busy schedule.
Whenever I feel tired and worn out, I remind myself that proclaiming the Word is not something in addition to anything else. It is done within the framework of what I am already doing! I actually proclaim Christ’s Good News through appropriate words at work and whenever I meet others. I proclaim his Gospel whenever I am setting a good example. I proclaim Christ’s Word in whatever I am doing through showing a preferential option for the marginalized around me and in the world.
The Gospel adds another dimension to proclaiming the Good News in our busy time. We are unlike the rich in today’s Gospel of Saint Mark, who contributed from their surplus. We are more like the poor widow who gave the little she had. I don’t mean that we are poor in monetary terms. I am referring to our time. Time is today a scarce and valued commodity. Most of us do not have a surplus of time. But when we give the little time we have we can compare ourselves to the poor widow which was praised by Jesus. When we have an hour available at the weekend we can proclaim the Word by volunteering in our parish. When we have a day available during one month we can give witness of our faith by supporting a project in our neighborhood, our city, or our nation. When we have a week available during the summer we can support the evangelization efforts of our church by participating in a particular program.
Whether we proclaim the Gospel implicitly during our daily routine or explicitly by dedicating specific time to proclaiming the Word, we can do so in a prayerful spirit, very much like the author of Psalm 71, the psalm that is read in today’s mass:
My mouth shall be filled with your praise,
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