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Thursday, April 29, 1999

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St. Catherine of Siena

Acts 13:13-25
Psalm 89:2-3, 21-22, 25, 27
John 13:16-20

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doing the mission impossible

"There John left them and returned to Jerusalem." —Acts 13:13

John Mark had accompanied Barnabas and Saul on a relief mission to help the starving Judean Christians (Acts 12:25). Next, John Mark accompanied Barnabas and Saul on the first evangelistic mission of the Church (Acts 13:5). However, John Mark quit that mission (Acts 13:13).

There's a big difference between a relief mission and an evangelistic mission. Almost all of us have been on relief missions. We have given our time, energy, and money to help the poor, the suffering, and the victims of tragedies. However, only a few people have gone on evangelistic missions. Relief missions are very important and often are a matter of life and death. Evangelistic missions, however, are of supreme importance and are a matter of eternal life and death. Usually, we need a much stronger love to go on an evangelistic mission than a relief mission. We will often fight a much more severe spiritual battle in an evangelistic mission than in almost any other activity.

We can criticize John Mark for quitting the first Christian evangelistic mission, but many of us have never quit because we've never started. If we have quit, we ought to follow Mark's lead, repent, and go back on mission. "Once you know all these things, blest will you be if you put them into practice" (Jn 13:17).

Prayer:  Father, may I not stop short of Your full will.

Promise:  "I solemnly assure you, he who accepts anyone I send accepts Me, and in accepting Me accepts Him Who sent Me." —Jn 13:20

Praise:  St. Catherine wrote: "The more I search, the more I find, and the more I find the more I search for You."

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Mission Impossible.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, October 9, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 17, 1998