|MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS
|"Go therefore and make disciples
of all nations"
[The following sentiment was shared with me.]
“one of the things I've always espoused is that Christianity
(or any other religion, but Christianity is the only one who does it) has no business
having missionaries preaching in countries that already have an established
Why preach to people of other Faiths? Why did God ask His followers to go out and 'share
the truth, in love', as St. Paul says; in his Letter to The Ephesians 2:15.
Are we just looking for more recruits for the 'army of God' and more 'tithing'? Or perhaps,
there is more to the missionary life than selfishness and pride.
The Catechism of The Catholic Church, repeating what Jesus Christ has told mankind,
says; “To love God with all your mind, your heart and all your strength and to love your
neighbor as yourself.” [Lk 10:27]
If we truly 'love our neighbor as we love ourselves' we would want the best for them. The
best in every aspect of their lives, both here on earth and when they die.
From the Catechism of The Catholic Church, p. 6.
“May the light of the true faith free humanity from ignorance and slavery of sin in order to
lead it to the only freedom worthy of the name (cf. Jn 8:32) that of life in Jesus Christ under
the guidance of the Holy Spirit, here below and in the Kingdom of Heaven, in the fullness
of the blessed vision or God face to face (cf. 1 Cor. 13:12; 2 Cor. 5:6-8)!”
We, the followers of Jesus, go forth to share the “Good News” as Jesus announced in the
synagogue at the opening of His Ministry; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he
has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to
captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a
year acceptable to the Lord." [Lk 4:19]
The greatest act of love is to share God's Love with those around you, especially with
those who do not yet know of Jesus Christ and His teachings. The whole purpose of
sharing the teachings of Jesus Christ through His Church, that is, The Catholic Church,
founded by Him on the apostle St. Peter, [Mt 16:18-19], is one of never ending love. We
share teachings so that all may “come to knowledge of the truth” [1 Tim 2:4] giving hope to
those we evangelize.
Without a sure knowledge of God's Love for them, mankind may despair and give up hope.
I was watching a movie today and I had an idea of another way of looking at sharing the
Gospel message. The movie was “Angel Eyes”, with Jennifer Lopez .... as Sharon Pogue
James Caviezel .... Steven 'Catch' Lambert.
The story is about Jim Caviezel's character being involved in a car accident where he was
the driver and his wife and small son died. Jim “Catch”, as he is known in the movie, has
shut out the accident from his mind and is living his life without any concrete knowledge of
what happened the day of the accident or his life as it was before.
He meets Sharon, played by Jennifer Lopez, a Chicago Police Officer. They fall in love with
each other. Catch doesn't share much about his life and Sharon falling in love and wanting
to know more about Catch finds out about the accident.
She decides on her own to try to shock him out of his denial of the truth of his life by
confronting him with the truth at the cemetery where his wife and son are buried.
Back to my “idea” on whether we should “evangelize”.
Some people watching this movie would think that what she did was the correct thing.
Catch was living a good life, yet not a full, vibrant life. He was not living the best life that he
could. Sharon could have left him in the “dark”, so to speak, about his former life and what
many people would count as his “real” life or “reality”. Yet others would say; “Who is she to
just indiscriminately decide that Catch should be brought to the “truth”.
What Sharon did she did out of love of Catch.
I say that this movie demonstrates Christianity and evangelization in the way, the
character, Sharon brought Catch to the knowledge of the Truth with Love. Catholics
become missionaries to bring the “best” life to others. To show those who want to know...
“reality”, because the ultimate reality is mankind's relationship with God.
CCC 843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows
and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all
things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and
truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who
enlightens all men that they may at length have life." 332
844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that
disfigure the image of God in them:
Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and
have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the
Creator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate
845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call
the whole of humanity together into his Son's Church. The Church is the place where
humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is "the world reconciled."
She is that bark which "in the full sail of the Lord's cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit,
navigates safely in this world." According to another image dear to the Church Fathers,
she is prefigured by Noah's ark, which alone saves from the flood. 334