Spreading the WordDan Doyle
Paul’s mission is the foundational mission to the Gentiles. He began something that still continues today. We are those who are commissioned by God today with the mission of taking the Good News to those who have not seen or heard.
The mission is no harder today than it was in Paul’s time. The same powers, principalities and minions are arrayed against us, as were arrayed against Paul. But the opposite is true too. The same God, the One who is present to all time and space is with us, just as He was with Paul. Faith is our armor, hope is our anchor, and love is the creative, forgiving force that infuses everything we do.
There is the Word of God, of course. It needs to be taken with loving-kindness and cultural sensitivity to all those who have not heard it before. It must be made comprehensible to them in the ways that they speak, so that they will not be confused, or will not be able to understand. But the way that the Gospel is spread at first is when it is seen being lived out clearly, courageously, and happily by those who believe. It is when people see the Gospel life being lived openly and lovingly that they begin to ask questions, they begin to desire what they see. This is Paul’s message. We must take the Gospel to the “Gentiles” of our day, the “pagans” of our day, by our deeds first and then by our words. And the two must be as one. We must walk our talk.
St. Therese of Lisieux says of this: “Perfection consists in doing His will, and the soul that surrenders itself totally to Him is called by Jesus Himself “His mother, his sister,” and his whole family.” (Matthew 12:50) It is in this surrender that we begin to live the Christian life willingly and openly. It is in this that, “Those who have never been told of him shall see, and those who have never heard of him shall understand.” (Romans 15:21)