by Daniel Quintero, former Media Ministry Assistant
Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary, use words.
Many of you may be familiar with this quote, often attributed to St. Francis. There can no doubt that he lived the meaning of those words. After reflecting on this quote one day, I came up with a couple of reflections I would like to share:
Preach the Gospel– This can take the form of many actions; from community service and charitable work, to simply putting a smile on and waving to strangers while in a public area. How often do we see people whose faces are looking down, afraid to even have eye contact with others whom they do not know? While in college, I would see this situation many times. Just a simple nod to another person or even better, a smile and a hello, can add a bright moment to any one’s day. We preach the Gospel when we echo the message of Christ.
At all times– This means every single second of our existence on earth. Every fragment of our interior disposition and outer actions must be pointed to helping others see the Good News of Our Lord. Isn’t it an exciting challenge? One that Our Lord calls us to take, one that Saints inspire us to succeed in. Our message is one of urgency.
Use words if necessary- Sometimes, words are needed to preach the message. This quote doesn’t say that words are bad, but that they are useful only when they are required. We are called to speak the truth, by how we act and by what we say. Words are powerful in themselves, but become indestructible when the actions of the speaker reflect the same message.
There can often exist a perception of a conflict of preaching with words vs preaching with actions. But just like faith and reason are both needed and promoted in our Church, so too must our faith be enshrined with the words of hope and the actions of charity.