The Lord Sent Them Out – A message from Fr. Ben
“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes, then learn how to do it.” This is the advice of the incredible British entrepreneur, Richard Branson, surely one of the most successful, creative, and adventitious businessmen of our time. We are not always ready for the opportunities that present themselves to us. Sometimes we don’t know if we can accomplish what is expected, or even if we know what is expected or where the opportunity will lead or what it will demand. Today in the Gospel Jesus sent out seventy-two disciples, two by two, He sent them. Surely, they could not have known what that “opportunity” involved, where the road would take them, or the demands that it would make upon them. And yet, off they went! That took courage, faith, and spirit.
Almost two hundred years ago a small group of Catholic men, women, and children, began a community here on the westside of Cincinnati. They could not have known that that small little start would lead to such a great movement and Catholic presence. Not only are there the five parishes of our Family of Parishes, but many more in this small area, all growing from that courageous, faithful, and spirited group of Catholic immigrants.
What we have, who we are, and what we value, all began as an act of Catholic faith. Our courageous, faith-filled, tenacious, determined, ancestors, families, and parents, first built churches, then schools, then parishes, convents, hospitals, and then an entire catholic culture. Being catholic defined who they were. They were disciples of the Lord and had the courage to be Catholic, in a day, a time, and a country, where they were not always welcomed and embraced because of their Catholic faith. Here on the westside of Cincinnati, they had the courage to build a Catholic community, a Catholic presence, and a Catholic culture. Being disciples of the Lord, sent out, to build the Kingdom of God, being family, defined who they were and what they were about.
They began small but they dreamed big. Who could have known what was to come of their efforts? And here we are! Today, the task of going out two by two, the commission to build the kingdom of God, to be a light in the world, is passed on to us. It is our turn to have the courage, to be tenacious, to be faithful and faith filled. It is our turn to dream big and to build an even greater legacy. God has given us an amazing opportunity and we say “yes” to God for every gift we need to do what God asks of us God has already given to us. Together, we will form a vision, together we will move forward, together we are sent out by the Lord, and together we have the potential to make a true difference for everyone. “Don’t be afraid” the Archangel Gabriel said to our beloved Mother, “for with God all things are possible.” Like Mary, all we have to do is say yes to God and great things will happen.