Today, the Gospel invites us to ponder over our following Christ. It does matter to follow him as He expects us to. James and John had not yet learned his message of love and forgiveness: «Lord, do you want us to call down fire from Heaven to reduce them to ashes?» (Lk 9:54). There were others also called by the Lord but they were not yet ready to completely part with their family bonds. To follow Christ and accomplish our mission, we must do it free from any tie: «Whoever (...) looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God» (Lk 9:62).
At a World Missionary Journey, St. John Paul II made an appeal to all Catholics to become missionaries of the Gospel of Christ through dialogue and forgiveness. The motto was: «The mission is an announcement of forgiveness». His Holiness said that only our love for God can unite men of every race and culture, by making disappear the painful divisions, the ideological contrasts, the economic inequalities and the violent abuse humans are still subject to. Through evangelization, we believers may help men to recognize one another as brothers.
If we truly feel like brothers, we may start by understanding each other and debating always with respect. His Holiness has emphasized that our determination for an attentive and respectful dialogue is a necessary condition for the true testimony of God's saving love, because who forgives is already opening his heart to his fellowmen and is able to feel love. In the Last Supper the Lord said it too: «A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you (...). By this all men will know that you are my disciples» (Jn 13:34-35).
To evangelize is a task for all of us, although in different ways. For some of us, it will mean going to countries where Christ is still unknown. Others will be supposed to evangelize in their own environment. Let us ask ourselves whether those around us know how to live the fundamental truths of our faith; and whether we are already doing something to remedy this situation. We all can and must support the missionary tasks with our prayer, sacrifice and behaviour, in addition to the testimony of our forgiveness and understanding towards the rest of our fellowmen.