Click here for the readings for this Sunday. Below is the bulletin from August 25, 2019.
This will be the first of, what I hope to be, many blogs about why I chose the bulletin cover as well as why I chose certain aspects of the bulletin. I could simply choose an "easy" cover each week and be done with it; however, I'd like to think that the bulletin is just as important a tool of evangelization as, say for example, the songs that are sung during Mass. In fact, I'd like to think that our actions and interactions with the people we come across every moment of the day have the power and potential to evangelize. As St. Francis of Assisi says, “Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.”
The first reading pretty much talks about identity - who God has made each one of us to be: beautifully, wonderfully, and uniquely made IN His image and likeness; that there is, not only beauty but, divinity in diversity. Each of us on this earth were created with a "particular set of skills" (reference to the movie, Taken) so that the Body of Christ can function here on earth, as it is in Heaven; thereby, bringing heaven here on earth - NOW and not when we physically die.
The psalm this Sunday is "Go out to all the world, and tell the good news." When people are dating, sometimes the words, “You are my world” are uttered to signify where our focus lies. What is your “world” today? Is it your spouse, your girlfriend, your family, your job? Whatever your world is, God is challenging us to not be ashamed to let your world know who we discovered we are (beautifully, wonderfully, and uniquely made in His image and likeness) and to help them also discover that they are just like you – beautifully, wonderfully, and uniquely made in His image and likeness.
I can see how one might literally try to go out to all the world (which isn’t wrong so long as it’s the Spirit that’s leading us to this calling), but in literally trying to go out to all the world, sometimes we neglect “our world”. If we start with “our world” first, eventually the Good News will spread like wild fire…on its own…without trying.
The gospel talks about entering the Kingdom of God. Sure, we might be able to use our own strength, own love, own peace, own joy to do things…even to serve, praise, give God glory and go to heaven. But when we get there, He’s not looking for our own abilities; rather, He’s looking to see whether we allowed Him to love us and therefore transformed INto Him through and through so that when, God-willing, we reach the narrow gate, He will be looking at a mirror image of Himself.
For this week's bulletin, I was struggling to find a picture to use for the front cover. But one verse from the gospel stuck out to me: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate…” I was then reminded of the nail marks on Christ’s hands. It’s as if He’s inviting us INto Himself, INto Love, INto Divinity, INto heaven through His wounds - to realize our own brokenness and our thirst for something that will truly make our hearts content, and from there, uniting our brokenness with Christ’s own brokenness where we’re gently and tenderly transformed INto Divine Love. “Strive to enter through the narrow gate…” - the wounds of Christ.