Most of us have encountered situations we try to avoid for fear that we will come away creased, torn and weary. The temptation always is to detour around the issue and retreat to our privacy. We’re generally good at building walls, as is someone else in the news these days, in the not selfless hope that we can be spared the trauma of having to deal with difficult situations. In doing so, we renounce the social aspect of the Gospel. Most of us have experienced this reality perhaps often in our lifetime. I know that Helen and I struggle with this issue in our involvement at our strata like development near Keremeos B.C. Politics can be stressful and hurtful and it often seems easier to just not be involved at all. That’s not what Gods call us to do as His Disciples however.
We are called to be involved at whatever level is consistent with our giftedness and the urging of the Holy Spirit. Our involvement often provides us with opportunities to witness and we dare not shrink from our responsibilities to promote Jesus to those with whom we come in contact by living in His image and likeness for this is our primary tool of evangelization.
As Pope Francis has said in his Joy of the Gospel “The Gospel tells us constantly to run the risk of a face-to-face encounter with others, with their physical presence which challenges us, with their pain and their pleas, and with their joy which infects us in our close and continuous interaction. True faith in the incarnate God is inseparable from self-giving, from membership in the community, from service, from reconciliation with others. The Son of God, by becoming flesh, summoned us to the revolution of tenderness”.
We need to shed the cloak of isolation and embrace the earthy, sometimes muddy and often wet environment of interaction with others and we can count on playing in the mud sometimes but if we get down and dirty God will be there to offer us refreshment when we need it.
Jesus tenderly calls us to our mission by reminding us of his limitless love for all. He wants us to be His hands, feet, voice and heart. We need not worry about our worthiness or about our abilities to reach out in love as His ambassador nor about our dirty hands and feet. We will always have the grace we need and the help of the Holy Spirit for we undertake a sacred work and one in the name of Jesus.