Be the billboard for God with your life
Father Andrzej Wyrostek
Homily from the Televised Mass, NewsCenter1
Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time, February 11, 2024
Do not tell anyone about what has happened. Go directly to the temple and do what the law has prescribed. But the man, overjoyed, began to publicize everything and so it was hard for Jesus to stay anonymous.
As I was coming over here today, I was driving and along the road I saw a number of billboards, a different way of advertising different things. Some of them are noble. Some of them are entertaining. Some of those advertisements are questionable. Depends on who you talk to.
What I was thinking about is, what gives us the reason to advertise something? We want to promote whatever thing that is being advertised and we want to make ourselves known in public. Can we ask a question though, does Jesus publicize that he is looking for the promotion for himself? Like in the Gospel today, we find it another example that Jesus doesn’t need to promote himself. He doesn’t want to even do that. He wants to be kind to people. He wants to be nice to them. He wants to heal them, help them, and restore them to health and life, but he doesn’t want anybody to know about it.
Now we could say in today’s world if you do something good, if you do something important, if you want to proclaim the Gospel, why would you not want to tell others about that. Why would you tell this poor man who was just healed, “go and tell no one? Go and show yourself to the priest and make the appropriate offering.”
One of the things, one of the best advertisements we also know, is the one that does not need billboards. An advertisement that does not call for a special ad or information all over the place, but an advertisement that we give with our own life, with our own example. I think that’s more important than anything. One of the greatest ways that we can evangelize is by living our way of life in a way that inspires others, awakens their minds, their conscience, and their hearts, to look at us — our way of behaving and talking, sharing the good news with them, and ask them a question, “what is at your heart? What is at the heart of your life that makes you who you are — that makes you a person that inspires me?”
We are about to begin that beautiful time of a Lenten journey. We’re entering into this time in a few days with the celebration of Ash Wednesday. An invitation again to undertake, in a variety of ways, spiritual exercises, sacrifices. Perhaps the question might arise for us this year, whatever I want to do during this Lenten journey — how is that going to change my life so that the way I behave, I live it out, I proclaim in my heart and soul the good news that can inspire others without telling them who is God? What is faith? That can inspire them to ask me a question, what is it that makes you who you are? What is it that gives you hope? What is it or who is it that encourages you? What is the foundation of your spiritual life that makes you so unique in today’s world?
God who is so good and kind to us that we are willing to tell the world about him without using words, with our example, with who we are.