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Friday of the Twenty-FourthWeek in Ordinary Time

The Lord has need of all 

Afterward he journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources. Lk 8,1-3

The women remembered in today’s gospel with a hint of gratitude – Mary Magdalene, Joan, Susanna and others, who follow Jesus and the apostles assisting them with their own properties and maybe preparing them something to eat, teach us that everyone can be a missionary in his or her own special way. Not everyone is called to hold long speeches of evangelization in front of a public; there are people who are more likely to have personal contacts, others who are good at providing services, and still others who feel the desire to pray for the mission.

There are many things to do in the Lord’s vineyard. Everyone operates according to the gifts he or she has received and the skills he or she has acquired. A circus needs the acrobat, the tamer, the clown and the one who takes care of the animals. You can start any way, but, with time, everyone finds his or her role and way.

It is said that Renato Ranucci – who would become a well-known singer, songwriter, dancer and showman in the 1950s and 60s – started his career precisely in a circus, feeding the animals. One day the clown got injured and the manager of the circus told him: “Go on the stage, you who always make everyone laugh here in the circus”. So, Renato suddenly found himself in front of the public, without any scheduled programme and with the task of improvising a show. He did not lose heart, he began to do what he could do and it was a triumph. That day, Renato Rascel was born, a great performer. Others, who did not have his skills, kept on bringing food to the animals for their whole life, but it does not matter: the circus, as well as the mission, needs everyone.

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