Saturday, 6 November 2021

Helpers in the New Evangelization

Saturday 31st Week in Ordinary Time, Year I, Josephinum

Rom 16:3-9, 16, 22-27

I want to say a few words about the helpers God will send you in your task as priests

in the context of the New Evangelization 

Three points in my sermon

(1) First point: the “secret” that we must make known

St. Paul spoke of:

“the revelation of the mystery [previously] kept secret”

-Greek for ‘mystery’ 

Doesn’t mean something odd and ’mysterious’

It means a secret that is secret no more

-it’s now ‘revealed’, 

-the truth of Christ, in Christ 

-the truth of the meaning of the cosmos, 

the meaning of life, 

the meaning of the individual lives of all those you talk to

That “secret”,

must be “made known to all nations”

Our task as priests of the New Evangelization:

To make Christ known

To hand on the “secret”

(2) Second point, a brief one: The New Evangelization is a tough task 

If you feel ready for this task, 

then you probably don’t grasp its magnitude

(3) Third point, my main one:

You are NOT going to be ALONE in this task.

We heard in our first reading St Paul refer to many people who helped him along the way

They might seem like random names to us, 




-13 names in that short passage

St. Paul was the “apostle to the gentiles”, 

as we are called to be apostles to gentiles of our own day

St. Paul recounts in multiple epistles the difficulties he faced:

Scourged 5 times, beaten three times, shipwrecked three times, stoned, imprisoned

Hungry, thirsty, in pain, in weariness (2 Cor 11 24-27)

But, also,

He recounts in almost all of his letters, names of people who aided him in the task 

-even while his letters are about other things, 

his sense of gratitude to them is such that he keeps mentioning them by name

St. Paul set out without knowing these people, these helpers

God, however, knew who He had planned to raise up to help him in the task


He has likewise planned co-workers in your part in the task

For me:

Each parish I’ve been sent to I’ve had a different challenge

But each parish has also had helpers that God had prepared for me

We aren’t meant to fight alone

We come to seminary to train as a band of brothers, 

to stand alongside men of the same vision, 

men who learn as we learn, 

men who pray and come know the Lord as we come to know Him

We don’t work alone

And, even after you’re sent out

You’ll still not be alone, 

because God knows WHO He has in mind to aid you

What are the names of the people that are going to aid you?

You don’t know

I don’t know

But God knows -He has them ready

She’s unlikely to be called Priscilla

He unlikely to be called Andronicus 

But they are there waiting for you -God has them ready

And there are even more, 

that will start out indifferent BUT by your words 

but rapidly rise to become your co-workers -all in God’s plan

So, those three points:

(1) There was a “secret” made known, and that WE must make known again

(2) The New Evangelization is a daunting task

(3) God has named and chosen people to aid you in the task

You can start PRAYING for them already

You can have a mindset LOOKING to find them

-but EXPECT them: God has them ready

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