Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
November 3, 2023
On a Sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. Luke 14:1
Jesus accepted an invitation from this prominent Pharisee to dine at his house. The people at the dinner were “observing him carefully.” It’s somewhat easy to picture the scene. For most people, being invited to a dinner with many strangers who are observing them carefully may leave them feeling quite uncomfortable and self-conscious. But Jesus showed up with perfect confidence and an unwavering commitment to share the Gospel. One thing we can learn from this dinner and Jesus’ disposition at it is that uncomfortable situations are actually great opportunities to share your faith.
We will all have times when we are put in an uncomfortable situation. Imagine, for example, being invited to a party for a distant relative or a new neighbor. You decided to attend and knew that you would know very few people there. The tendency for those who are shy would be to show up, find someone they know, and then spend the rest of the time with that person. But consider what Jesus did. He probably knew very few people at this dinner. Jesus’ primary purpose in attending was not to just relax and have a fun time while He met new friends. Instead, His primary purpose was to preach His saving message to those in need. Thus, He went to those in need and did so with confidence.
Whether you are one who likes to socialize and meet new people, or are one who dreads such settings, consider the simple fact that these settings are wonderful opportunities to share your faith. Like our Lord, if you are willing to put yourself out there, entering situations that are new and unfamiliar, then you may start to discover that the opportunities abound. New settings and new people are new opportunities to evangelize. True, they are also opportunities to make new friends and enjoy yourself. But if you have a heart set on the desire to share the Gospel, then you will regularly look for new opportunities in which you can somehow share your faith with others.
Reflect, today, upon this simple Gospel scene of Jesus attending a dinner, with many people He did not know, for the purpose of sharing the faith with them. Imagine yourself joining our Lord at this meal. How would you have felt? Would you have been self-conscious and uncomfortable? Or would you have seen it as an opportunity to share the Gospel? Reflect upon how zealous you are in your efforts to evangelize others and recommit yourself to this holy endeavor. Tell our Lord you are ready and willing to be used by Him wherever He sends you and then try to see every new adventure and experience in life as a new opportunity to share Christ’s saving message with others.
My saving Lord, You desire that Your saving message be shared far and wide, to the ends of the earth. Please fill me with zeal for souls. Give me an unwavering desire to share the Gospel with everyone I meet. Please use me, dear Lord, in the way You desire, so that Your love and mercy will be brought to those in need. Jesus, I trust in You.