We live in a world and society that seems to be dedicating itself more and more each day to the god of individualism. People and nations, of the first world in particular, seem to be becoming more and more self-centered and self-absorbed. By this I mean that we are more concerned with maintaining our own comfortable lifestyles than we are with trying to help those in need. This is definitely not acceptable to the Gospel.

 

Jesus is not satisfied with proclaiming the Gospel Himself as He realizes that it is going to take more than this to ensure that the Gospel is proclaimed to the ends of the earth. Jesus calls others into His own ministry. He does not stand alone against the world either in a selfish manner or in a manner of individual righteousness. He chooses to become one of us, taking on human form and He chooses to share His power and gifts with those who are willing to commit themselves to being His disciples.

 

Discipleship is never and individualistic exercise. I cannot succeed as a disciple of Jesus on my own! I need the help and support of others around me. It is this sense of community with others than we need, as Christians, to bring back into the world. It should never be acceptable to a Christian to decide to stand apart from the world and refuse to engage the world in dialogue and relationship out of fear of one thing or another.

 

The mission of the Church is exactly that – to engage the world in dialogue and to bring to bear the values of the Gospel in each and every situation it possibly can do this. This will require deep commitment upon our part to give over our lives to the service of God and our fellow men and women. Without this commitment to service, the Church will isolate itself from the world and slowly become an irrelevant institution. No, the Church does not need to compromise its beliefs in order to engage the world in dialogue. It must stand firm and through the witness of the lives of its members convince the world of the truth and necessity of the all of the Gospel values.

 

How committed am I to standing as a beacon for the values of the Gospel? Do I seek to engage others in dialogue in order to draw them to faith in Jesus through the witness of my life?

 

Lord Jesus, you stood firm in your knowledge of the truth even though it cost you your life and much pain and suffering as well. Grant me the grace to stand firm by the truth and so draw others to faith in you and the Gospel.