Gospel: (Mark 16:15-20)
Jesus said to his disciples: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature…These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
Jesus expects his disciples to walk in his footsteps. But Jesus always invites us to share in his ministry, never forces us. At the Ascension, Jesus commissioned his disciples to proclaim the gospel. At first this might seem an impossible commission: how can we expect to fill Jesus’ footsteps? On our own authority we cannot preach the gospel, we can fill Jesus’ footsteps only when we hear “the instructions given through the Spirit.” What an awesome honor it is to be disciples of Christ – by returning to his rightful place at the hand of God, Jesus entrusts his mission to us. (Living Liturgy, p.136)
The motto of the Society states that: “No work of charity is foreign to the Society.” And so in the Manual we read: Accordingly, the possibilities for Vincentian action are almost without limit. Being poor does not always, or necessarily, consist of being short of material goods. Being poor can also mean being physically and mentally handicapped, sick, crippled, old, ugly, or illiterate. There are poor who are or are made to feel alone…immigrants, transients, orphans, the abandoned or rejected, and all those who find themselves among others who are indifferent or hostile. Being poor may mean wanting to cry when others are laughing; being physically or morally chained, as prisoners, shut-ins, alcoholics, drug addicts; being defenseless against attacks, insults or accusations; being an innocent victim of crime or quarrels. The more the Society grows, the more it will reach the lonely and troubled who have need for care and friendship. (US Manual, P.45-46)
Discussion: How are we being called to carry the mission of Jesus in new ways, meeting new needs or creating new works of charity?