February 14, Saint Cyril, Monk, and Saint Methodius, Bishop
To evangelize yesterday and today
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings, Announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation, and saying to Zion, “Your God is King!” Is 52,7
After this the Lord appointed seventy (-two) others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Lk 10,1-3
Let’s try to imagine what, in their hearts, those seventy-two disciples who first received the mandate to go to announce Jesus Christ “to every town and place he intended to visit” would have thought. They were all common people with little education, who never have been out of their villages, but they were successful and returned with joy saying “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name” (Lk 10,17). They did not need the wisdom, which was provided by the Holy Spirit, nor the capacity to perform miracles, because on these the Lord, who worked with them, was providing. They have only made available their feet to go: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings”. Today, in our western world, it is much easier to go, but the proclamation of the gospel is perhaps more difficult, because our civilization is suffering from this terrible disease called “hedonism”. It fixes all the attention on this world and on the possibility of enjoyment and success which offers, without suffering and sacrifice. We live in the things without questioning on the meaning of the life and we fear the loneliness and the silence which forces us to think. We have a blind faith in the science, not only as a source of wealth, but also of truth, which we accept only if it comes from the man, because we want to be masters of our destiny. While seeing the world dominated by injustice, by the exploitation and by the hate, we do not believe that the salvation can come from Another. From the religious viewpoint, we are all more or less secularized. However, even today, the messenger who announces the gospel is not left alone in facing these objective difficulties: there is the Holy Spirit which illuminates and the Lord who is at work confirming the word with miracles. Even today, as it may seem unbelievable, only the feet are required to go.