Presence

When I was still an active member of the Commission on Youth in our parish, we launched a program which aims to encourage the youth to attend the mass and be active in the Church. We clustered 15 barangays within the jurisdiction of our parish into five. For three consecutive Sundays, we taught them lessons on basic catechism. We also encouraged them to serve in the Church by sharing our personal experiences and inspiring them to love God by being an obedient child to their parents, a loving brother or sister to their siblings, and a good neighbor.

I admit that I do not have a vast knowledge about the Bible and I am not that good in speaking in public. But what I am sure about myself during that time was my desire to proclaim the Word of God in my own simple way—my presence. My heart leapt when I saw that our parish was full of young, inspired, and energetic faces during our first “Youth Mass”. Years went by but I am happy that most of them still serve and nurture their growth in the love of God and for His Church.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus said to His disciples “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” As a priest-in-process, especially in this time of pandemic where mass gatherings are still prohibited and physical contact is avoided, it is a challenge for me on how to still generously respond to the call of proclaiming the Gospel in a more creative way. This pandemic taught me that I can still share the good news through my simple presence and the responsible use of internet and different social media platforms. One doable way is by simply responding to chats from people who seek advice, by the willingness to listen to someone’s struggles, and by making them feel your presence, albeit virtually. In these times where many people are suffering and are in distress, we are invited to be a disciple of Christ by proclaiming the Gospel and making His presence felt through us.

By: Sem. Ericson Y. Austria

Today’s Gospel

Mk 16:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Go into the whole world
and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
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.

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