We know that there is a cohesiveness to Scripture:
Be especially attentive “to the content and unity of the whole Scripture”. Different as the books which compose it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God’s plan, of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since his Passover. (CCC 112)
While on Sundays the connections between Old Testament and Gospel readings is explicitly purposeful (and often obvious to the attentive listener) this is not the case with weekday readings (for a fine, short overview of the Sunday Lectionary see here). But, I find that from time to time, the “content and unity” jump off the page at me. Yesterday’s readings are a case in point.
From Isaiah (6:1-8) we hear the famous call of Isaiah from the Triune God (“Who will go for us?” [v. 8]) to the Chosen People gone astray. Isaiah’s answer is in the headline.
From Matthew (10:24-33) we receive Jesus’ instructions to His apostles for evangelization.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops….
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father. (vv. 27, 32-33)
The apostles (Gk. apostolos: one sent on a mission [M-W]) were chosen to be sent. All came along willingly and all, but the unfortunate Judas, with Isaiah, ultimately said to the Lord, “Send me!” And, following the instructions above, all witnessed (from the Greek, martyr) to what they had seen and heard, all but one being murdered for the Faith.
We are called to be modern day apostles. Will we shed blood for our witness? May God spare us that fate! But are we called to “proclaim [from] the housetops”? Of course! We are called to “acknowledge [Christ] before others” being “[a]lways…ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.” (1 Pt 3:15)
This last quote is often used to emphasize the importance of learning the Faith. And rightly so. But one does not need to have a degree in theology to share his “reason for…hope.” Let us strive to live the Gospel well, giving good example of Christian faith, hope, and love, and in so doing our enthusiasm for the Lord and how He has worked in our lives will be poured out as a result, becoming evident to all we encounter [let them say along with the early pagans “See…how they love one another” (Tertullian, (Apologeticum ch. 39, 7)].