Lord Jesus Christ,
you have commanded us
you have commanded us
to make disciples of all nations.
Therefore, we ask you to send your Holy Spirit,
to make us your instruments in this divine work.
Enlighten us by your word,
and strengthen us by your sacraments
so our minds and our hearts may be transformed.
May the manner in which we live our lives
announce the love and mercy you extend to all people.
Permit the Spirit to cause a holy zeal to rise up within us
for the work of evangelization to which you call us.
Set our hearts on fire to bring others to you
and to the church
which you founded out of love for all.
Deepen our knowledge and understanding
of the teachings of your church,
and guide us with your wisdom in passing on the faith.
Allow the gift of right judgment
to show us when to listen
and when to speak your word.
Give us the courage to proclaim the Gospel
even when faced with adversity.
May we help others to live life to the full through you
and to experience the glory of your kingdom.
We entrust our evangelization efforts to the protection
of our diocesan patroness,
Mary, Our Lady of the Assumption,
as we make this prayer to you,
and the Father, and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
August 15, 2013
Our prayer is a beautiful prayer, a long prayer, a necessary prayer of self reminder of the need to place ourselves within the grace of a joyful God.
Paul reminded us last Sunday that he was compelled to share the good news because of its powerful effect in his life and because the Lord's hand was upon him. We, too, are compelled to be evangelizers, to share the good news because God is at work within us.
In this morning's Gospel passage from Mark we have Jesus encountering a deaf man with a speech impediment. Touching his ears so that he could hear the good news and his tongue which was restrained from announcing that good news, Jesus uttered another, powerful and simple prayer of evangelization - "EPHPHATHA!" - "BE OPENED!" If that be our prayer - that our ears be opened to hear the message of the Gospel, then our inability or restraint in proclaiming that message to the world will be taken away. Open ears and open mouth lead us to lives open to the mercy and love of God. That is what evangelization is all about. Whether through a formal prayer or a simple word of command or any other variation of the way to be reminded of this ministry, the need to evangelize must be brought to the forefront of our lives.