Jesus said that we either bear fruit or get cut down. We either lead people to Christ or come to a tragic end (see Lk 13:3, 5). Why is Jesus so strict with us? It is because He loves people so much, because people desperately need to hear the message of salvation, and because the Lord has decided to work through us in leading people to Him. Since we have the words which can lead people to eternal life, we have an awesome responsibility to speak up for Jesus. "When much has been given a man, much will be required of him" (Lk 12:48).
Therefore, "preaching the gospel is not the subject of a boast; I am under compulsion and have no choice. I am ruined if I do not preach" (1 Cor 9:16). "I have made myself all things to all men in order to save at least some of them. In fact, I do all that I do for the sake of the gospel" (1 Cor 9:22-23). "All that matters is that in any and every way, whether from specious motives or genuine ones, Christ is being proclaimed!" (Phil 1:18) "In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is coming to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingly power, I charge you to preach the word, to stay with this task whether convenient or inconvenient" (2 Tm 4:1-2). "I put no value on my life if only I can finish my race and complete the service to which I have been assigned by the Lord Jesus, bearing witness to the gospel of God's grace" (Acts 20:24).
Proclaim the gospel, witness for Jesus, and bear fruit in His kingdom, or be cut down.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2010 through November 30, 2010.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2010.