Reach Out Your Hands
Do you know the person you sit across from at mass? Most times, people try to be friendly and caring for each other, but it can be a challenge. At mass last night, our visiting priest talked about the importance of community, and being connected and supportive of one another. When it came time to say the 'Our Father', he had us reach out in the aisles, and had everyone joining hands, even with people we didn't really know. It's things like this that the modern world is missing, not just the contact, but the caring, the willingness to reach out and help our neighbour. Jesus tells us that this is what it means to really be disciples, it's reaching out to everyone, especially those we don't know, the tax collector, the atheist, that person who may have bullied you in school. Everyone needs our helping hand.
Today's Gospel states:'And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover"(Mark 16:15-18).
In today's Gospel, we hear the basic command God gives us as His people: go and preach the Gospel to all people. At baptism, we are given this command. It may not mean becoming a priest or a Sister, but maybe becoming a parent, and bringing your children up in the faith, or talking to a friend and influencing them to attend a service with you. How well do you know the people you see at mass weekly? Maybe this week's challenge can be to talk to someone after mass and show them your support. Take some time to ask God to help you to reach out as a disciple.
Today's prayer comes from 'Aletia' a prayer for the Church to draw close to everyone:
God our Father, through Jesus Christ you founded your Church on the rock of the Apostles, that, guided by the Holy Spirit, she may be a sign and instrument of your love and mercy in the world: we thank you for the gifts you have bestowed upon our Church in Lima.
We thank you in a special way for the holiness that has flourished in our land. Our Archdiocesan Church has been made fruitful by the apostolic labours of Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo, enlarged by the prayer, penance and charity of Saint Rose of Lima and Saint Martin de Porres, adorned by the missionary zeal of Saint Francisco Solano and the humble service of Saint Juan Macías. It has been blessed by the witness of Christian life and fidelity to the Gospel of many others of our brothers and sisters. We give you thanks for all that you have accomplished in our history and we ask you to keep us faithful to the heritage we have received.
Help us to be a Church that goes forth, drawing near to all, especially the less fortunate. Teach us to be missionary disciples of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Miracles, living in love, seeking unity and practising mercy, so that, protected by the intercession of Our Lady of Evangelization, we may live the joy of the Gospel and proclaim it before the world. Amen.