“As if God Were Appealing Through Us . . .”

These are the remarkable words St. Paul speaks in the first letter to the Corinthians. He calls us “Ambassadors for Christ”. Picture yourself sitting in that large circle of chairs at the United Nations. To your left is the Ambassador from Russia and on your right are the Ambassadors to Nigeria and Poland. You are there as Ambassador for the Kingdom of God. Really.

Your words, your deeds, are meant to introduce these people to your country. You represent a nation that experiences the love of God living and active amongst its citizens because of their faith in Jesus Christ. The people of this nation love one another because they have first been loved by Christ.

St. Paul does not call us preachers. We are Ambassadors; living, breathing citizens of a nation that God has invited all humankind to claim as their home. And that’s what ambassadors do . . . they represent in their very selves the country they come from. We don’t spout slogans – we ARE our message.

So what’s the point? The point is: YOU are the instrument God uses to help people know Him. Think about how you experienced God’s love in your life. Wasn’t it through PEOPLE? Your parents, friends, teachers, priest. Weren’t they ambassadors for Christ for you? Christ appealing to you through them? Parents, I don’t think you see yourself having so important a role. Jesus expects you to introduce Him to your children, your siblings and co-workers.

Wait a minute. I’m no saint! How can I give Christ to others? Just be your best self. Be the person who cares what happens. Be the person who looks out for others. Be a sign of hope when everyone else is quit- ting. Be the one who finds the light rather than cursing the darkness. Be the person who’s not afraid or embarrassed to admit their Catholic faith means something to them.

So how about this? . . . Sometime this summer, at a picnic or a reunion, tell a story about what happened to you when you came to mass one Sunday. It could be funny or meaningful or anything in between. The point is it’s YOUR story. (God will remind you what story to tell). Then . . . say something like . . . “Ron, if you’re looking for a church where you can give your cares to God, come and see how it feels.” Or simply, “Sunday mass has made a nice difference for the week that follows.”

Remember, you were appointed Ambassador. You didn’t run for election. So let’s do our job. Ask away. You’re doing this for Christ the Good Shepherd and we are his sheep dogs . . . uh, I mean ambassadors!!

God bless you.

Fr. Tim