In today’s Gospel we hear something of the urgency of Jesus’ mission as he himself understands and experiences it. Jesus laments the fact that he is somehow constrained from letting loose the full power of God’s love among the people to whom he preaches. He knows, or at least intimates that he knows, there is a ‘baptism’ that he is yet to undergo that will be a key to facilitating the letting loose of God’s love in the world. In retrospect it is easy for us to discern that this ‘baptism’ is really his passion and death! Only after his resurrection from the dead will their be the physical and incontrovertible ‘proof’ that God’s love is so great that even death and sin cannot overcome it!

Now that we are aware of how Jesus feels about this matter, perhaps it is good to examine our own approach to the call to spread the Good News of God’s love for all men and women. How eagerly do we look for opportunities to share with others what God has done in our lives. This is an essential aspect of discipleship as if we who have known and experienced God’s work in our lives do not share it with others how will those who do not know God come to know him? When we read the letters of St Paul and look at his life story as told to us in the Acts of the Apostles we see his response to the gift of receiving the Good News. The same is true of the lives of the saints.

Many of the examples the Church places before us are ones that exhibit total commitment, that is, the people give their total lives for this purpose. We too can still do this no matter what our vocation or occupation may be – it is merely a matter of having a mindset that is open to sharing the Gospel with others. Let us remember that this is one of the duties of being a Christian and not just an option.

When was the last time I shared the Gospel with someone I know – with someone I do not know?

Holy Spirit, fire within me a greater zeal to share the Gospel with others so that the name of Jesus will be glorified and all may come to know the saving love of God through faith in him.