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Thursday, January 20, 2005

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Pope St. Fabian
St. Sebastian

Hebrews 7:25—8:6
Psalm 40
Mark 3:7-12

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"cross"-cultural evangelization

"A great crowd followed Him from Galilee, and an equally great multitude came to Him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, Transjordan, and the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon, because they had heard what He had done." —Mark 3:7-8

Jesus has always attracted people from all nations. At His birth, the wise men from the East came and paid Him homage (Mt 2:11). Simeon prophesied that Jesus would be a Light to all nations (Lk 2:32), and people flocked to Jesus from across the Jordan, even from the pagan neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon. At Pentecost, peoples of many nations received the Holy Spirit from Jesus (Acts 2:9-11).

Although Jesus draws all people to Himself (Jn 12:32), we often do not see this in local parishes. For example, parishes often close because the neighborhood has changed, and the new neighbors (i.e. blacks or Appalachians) did not join the parish. This failure to evangelize people of other nations and cultures is not Jesus' idea. He has always been able to attract all nations. Our failure at evangelizing "crossculturally" may indicate that our local church is concealing Jesus rather than revealing Him to the nations. We must repent of a Christianity that obscures Christ.

Prayer:  Jesus, I'm sorry for standing in the way of nations and cultures trying to see You.

Promise:  Jesus "is always able to save those who approach God through Him, since He forever lives to make intercession for them." —Heb 7:25

Praise:  St. Fabian united laity and clergy and was an example of holiness to both.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Evangelization on audio AV 55-1 and AV 55-3 or video V-55.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 7, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 19, 2004