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January 31, 2019 Featured

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book PNG2112Gospel: Mark 4:21-25
Jesus also said to them, “When the light comes, is it put under a basket or a bed? Surely it is put on a lamp stand. Whatever is hidden will be disclosed, and whatever is kept secret will be brought to light. Listen then, if you have ears!” And he also said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. In the measure you give, so shall you receive, and still more will be given to you. For to the one who produces something, more will be given; and from him who does not produce anything, even what he has will be taken away from him.

“In the measure you give, so shall you receive.”

The Good News is not some­ thing we are meant to hoard and keep for ourselves. It must bear fruit; it must be shared with the world. A lamp is not meant to be hidden under our bed; it is put on a stand so that it may illuminate our room. By the same token, the gospel is not some precious treasure to be celebrated and preserved in the church; it exists to be shared and made visible. It is meant to illuminate the world. For that reason mission is essential to the life and purpose of the church. A mission ­driven church is fruitful. On the other hand, a church that is inward ­looking,    concerned only with its own preservation and safety, becomes sickly; even what it has will be taken from it. This was the central mes­sage that  Pope Francis shared with the conclave where he was elected pope. He described self ­referentiality as the greatest danger facing the church. When Jesus knocks on the door, he said, it is not only to be let into the church—but to be let out, to go out to the margins, to pursue his mission of gathering the lost sheep. We must have the faith to open the doors and let him out! And the courage to follow.

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