Evangelization is to help people find their way home and to
seek intimacy with our loving Abba of the universe.
In the painting of Return of the Prodigal Son
by Rembrandt, the younger son returned home in utter
poverty. He d sold all of his belongings except a dagger
around his waist. The dagger was given to him by his father.
It reminded him of his sonship to his father. He never sold
the dagger even in his destitution. This was what gave him
the courage to turn back from the distant countries and went
We were all given a special spiritual stamp through the
grace of baptism. This could be our dagger from God. We may
not see or feel it but it could take acts of human kindness
for us to recognize it. In Pope John Paul Helped Him Make
Space for God , the act of changing to a Pope s room was the
dagger that touched Jeff s heart and made him realize that
he was a beloved son. In the Father Bill Irwin s story,
being able to live in dignity was the dagger of home coming
for people dying of AIDS when they could live out the rest
of their lives in the AIDS House set up by Fr. Bill Irwin
and Michael Phair.
When the elder brother misunderstood the unconditional love
of the Father and refused to enter the house to celebrate
the return of his younger brother, the Father came out from
the house and talked to the brother. Likewise the Theology
on Tap program is reaching out to the crowd when the elder
brothers among us misunderstand the teachings of the Church.
It is an invitation back to the house of the Father. Will
the elder brothers heed the call? There is no answer in the
parable and in Rembrandt s painting. It is an open
Drinking from The Cup in Eucharist is accepting God s
covenant. Drinking our cup of salvation together in a
community is giving each other a dagger of kinship, a sense
of coming home to a circle of trusted friends with Jesus
being the leader 1. It is drawing people together in the
spirit of poverty and beatitudes.
Using The Cup as a metaphor in his book Can you drink the
CUP? , Fr. Henri Nouwen invites us to drink our cup of
salvation by holding our cup of life ( tasting and
reflecting on our joy and sorrow ), lifting it (
life , look each other in the eyes, celebrate the truth that
the wounds of our individual lives, which seem intolerable
when lived alone, become sources of healing when we live
them as part of a fellowship of mutual care
² ), and slowly
drinking or emptying it to the bottom with all the dregs (
accepting all the happiness and setbacks in our life fully
in memory of the death and resurrection of Jesus ).
When Jesus was praying over his cup of agony in the Garden
of Gethsemane, he asked his disciples to keep watch over him
but they fell asleep. It was only when the angel appeared
before him and comforted him, then Jesus was calm and stoic
from there on. He was ready to suffer through his Passion
and drank it to the bottom until it s fulfilled.
Dr. M. D'Ambrosio ( professor of Theology, Catholic
University of Dallas ) gave a presentation on Personal
Prayer - Pathway to Joy. During his speech, he emphasized on
the importance of dedicating regular time alone with God;
quoted on Jesus' prayers at the Garden of Gethsemane, and
that the apostles would not stay with him for one hour.
When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He
said to Peter, "So you could not keep watch with me for one
hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The
spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26,
By reflecting on this message, we can see why Dr. D Ambrosio
suggested that we dedicate one hour each day to keep watch
for Jesus; or we can choose to reach out to others. We can
be the special angel who appears to give hope to the
desolate, give them strength to get up on their own, and be
able to walk on home again.
We could all be prodigal sons and daughters struggling to
find our way home at different points in time over our
entire life. We can choose to go it alone or we can go in
fellowship of true camaraderie. Until we can demonstrate our
cup of salvation in a circle of openness, trust, friendship,
and stewardship of each other, we cannot draw others to come
along with us on our spiritual journey home. Evangelization
might just become an empty ideal.
The Spiritual Express Editorial Team
A neighbourhood parish has a crucifix with a circle around
Jesus. He who lays down his life for his friends is out
there inviting parishioners to form a circle of friends
and to be stewards of each other on their journey home.
Will people heed His call?
“Can you drink the CUP?” by Fr. Henri J.M. Nouwen p.56-57
you see evangelization yourself? Please feel free to share
your opinion with us by writing to us at
firstname.lastname@example.org . May be you can help us
start a new column called Reader’s Comment with your
feedback. Thank you.
福 傳 廣 告
2003 年歌Show (趙必成神父)