Friday, October 6, 2023
Saint Bruno, Priest and Monk
Today we hear very difficult words in the Gospel. Christ does not curse these cities; it is the people who inhabit them who exclude themselves from the Good News. The kingdom of God is an invitation from God made in love and respect for human freedom. This boundary (of love and freedom) must never be crossed in regard to people seeking God, and the evangelizer’s task is to point to the Lord’s Messiah and not to himself. Sodom and Gomorrah, mentioned in the teachings, are examples of communities that fell in love with themselves, believed in the power of stone buildings and the strength of the army. They had not heard the warning of God that came from the lips of the Prophets. That is why today a baptized practitioner can also be a pious person but remain focused on himself. To be truly a disciple of Jesus is to be a missionary disciple. This cry can be related to the cry of St. Paul the apostle who says, “Woe to me if I do not preach it [the gospel]” (1 Cor. 9:16). Today this cry is addressed to every baptized person, because there are billions of people in the world who do not know the gospel of life. Our humble confession in the hour of judgment will be that we have done little or nothing to make Jesus known and loved by the world. “The disciple is ready to put his or her whole life on the line, even to accepting martyrdom, in bearing witness to Jesus Christ, yet the goal is not to make enemies but to see God’s word accepted and its capacity for liberation and renewal revealed. Finally, an evangelizing community is filled with joy; it knows how to rejoice always. It celebrates every small victory, every step forward in the work of evangelization” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 24).