“The apostles and the presbyters accordingly convened to look into the matter. After much discussion, Peter took the floor.” –Acts 15:6-7

This meeting of the leaders of the early church in Jerusalem was one of the most important in history. This is not because they ruled against the necessity of circumcision for Gentile Christians but because they removed an obstacle to world evangelization. The result of the meeting was that “Paul and Barnabas continued in Antioch, along with many others, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord” (Acts 15:35).

Furthering evangelization is the criterion by which we judge the value of any meeting. Does the meeting of your church’s parish council result in more powerful evangelization? Are people sent out to evangelize from your Sunday Masses? Do your family gatherings proclaim the good news of Jesus? Why do you have prayer meetings, socials, business meetings, fellowships, and committee meetings? All meetings must have an evangelistic dimension or there’s no reason for their existence. Pope Paul VI asserted: The Church “exists in order to evangelize” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 14).

Jesus did not say: “Go, make buildings, churches, schools, and activities.” He said: “Go…make disciples” (Mt 28:19).

PRAYER: Jesus, may I win over to You as many as possible, no matter what it takes (1 Cor 9:19).

PROMISE: “As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you.” –Jn 15:9

PRAISE: St. Peter Chanel’s parish priest recognized his vocation when he was seven. He served as missionary to those in the Pacific Islands. By age thirty-eight he was martyred.

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