Come After Me, and I Will Make You Fishers of Men

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,

Our baptismal call includes the responsibility to preach the Gospel of Christ. We are bearers of the Word. Like Saint Paul, we have been sent by Christ. Like Peter, James, and John we have been called to “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Opening the Word is not the sole responsibility of the clergy; we are all called to proclaim the Word. Sacred Scripture is too rich to be restricted to one homily on Sunday. If our children, our neighbors, and our society at large are to receive the Word, we must all carry it forth in word and in deed.

This is not always easy! It is intimidating enough to proclaim the Word as a lector before the friendly congregation at Mass. It is even more dangerous to preach out in our often-hostile workplaces and social gatherings. I am not advocating soapbox-style proselytizing or street corner bible thumping. We must begin closer to home.

Read the bible. Read it! As individuals, and as families, make the Scripture part of your daily routine. It can be as simple as reading the Gospel passage for that day’s Mass out loud at your breakfast table. Beginning the day with Scripture will give you and your children something to ponder and practice throughout the day. You may be surprised at how often the Holy Spirit will connect your reading to the events of your day!

However we do it, we as Christians must be a people of the Word. God guides us through His Scriptures, and the frequent reading of the Bible will make an impact on our culture. Let God’s Word be the first thing you read in the morning, the last thing you read at night, and the most influential voice in your daily life. Or, as the Rite of Ordination of Deacons puts it: “Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you now are. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.”

Peace in Christ,

Father Matthew Kuhn

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