Each of us has a specialty in life in which we take great pride. Maybe it’s a penchant for cooking or carpentry, fixing or organizing, designing or building, listening or teaching. It is that specialty that often times distinguishes us among those who know us and sometimes it becomes so characteristic that it becomes our very identity and we become subordinate to it. That is dangerous because then we lose sight of its God-given-giftedness. Simply put, when we recognize ourselves as being in the “image and likeness” of God then we can more rightly see our gifts and talents as part and parcel belonging to Him. It is His way of working with us to make Himself known to the world just as He did with the Apostles after the Ascension. They went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs. 2000 years later He continues to work with each of us.
This aspect of spreading the Faith is played out in another interesting way. To appreciate it, we need to take a closer look at the B.C. part of Salvation History. The call of Abraham and the promises made to him, the freeing of the Hebrews from Egypt, the conquest of the Promised Land, the glory of David and Solomon’s kingships all had a purpose. God did not choose His people because they were special. He made them special by choosing them and it was their mission to carry and spread His loving presence to their neighbors. Instead, their attention was directed inward, with Jerusalem as the center of their faith and culture. Their history was like a centrifuge, circling around and drawing everything toward Jerusalem.
Now, take a map of the Roman world and follow Jesus’ command to preach the Gospel in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth,” and you will see not a centrifugal but a centripetal movement to the ends of the earth. God’s desire is finally being fulfilled!