07 June 2008

Preaching Season

We've got the four seasons, planting season, harvesting season, sports seasons . . . when is "preaching season?" It's always preaching season!
A previous translation of today's first reading used to read, "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season . . ." Surely there are times when it might not be welcome if we were to reference the Gospel in a very direct manner. For instance, it might not be well received, when being cut off in traffic, to announce to the driver of the offending vehicle, "The first shall be last!" Our actions, however, can also be an instrument for preaching the Gospel to those around us.
If we accept the misfortunes that befall us with a calmness and a resignation that belies a deep trust in the Lord's care for us, we may very well attract the attention of those around us. When the vicissitudes of daily living do not leave us untied and anxious, gradually it may pique the curiosity of those who work with us and live with us. In doing so, we have already begun to preach the Good News. Perhaps this might stir in our neighbors a desire to cultivate a similar posture. We may even find that we are answering questions about our relationship with the Lord, about our prayer lives, about going to Church. It is always preaching season ... especially for quiet sermons delivered by our good example.

"Do you wish to know how I test the value of a preacher? If the listeners go away saying, 'Today I will do better'; not by their saying, 'What a wonderful sermon!'"
St. Francis de Sales

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