The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are each rich with the narrative of the life and works of Christ. Together they make up what are known as the “synoptic gospels,” and over the course of a three year cycle the Church nourishes us with these narratives in the readings at Mass. In them we hear described in detail, and from various perspectives, the events of the life of Christ. Alongside these texts we often find ourselves diverted by a reading from the gospel according to Saint John. This gospel not only reinforces the narratives presented by the other three gospels, but also offers a mystical tone that demands a special effort in reading. Little in the text of the gospel according to Saint John is coincidental. Whereas the Matthew, Mark, and Luke provide a storyline for us to follow, John also uses specific words and ideas, in the context of retelling that narrative, to proclaim the great truths of our faith and in particular those regarding the person of Christ.
What would you give to convert one soul to Christ? This weekend a young married couple I know are attending a retreat during which they will find out where they are to be sent for two weeks of missionary work somewhere here in the United States. They will go with just the clothes they have on—no food or money—and they will rely on the generosity (please God) of parishioners and others for their wellbeing as they go about the task of evangelization; of taking the good news of the Gospel to others.
What would you give to convert one soul to Christ? Yesterday I baptized a beautiful newly born baby girl. Her young parents are in the process of moving from the area to become teachers in a Catholic school on the other side of the country; one which has a vibrant life of faith, with the reverent celebration of the sacraments and good formation in the virtues for the students. They have not yet bought their first home, and yet in a few days they will nevertheless pack up their belongings and their daughter and head to their new lives; setting out to build a home and a family in which Christ is truly the head of the household, and to teach young people about the joy of knowing the Lord and living by his precepts.