“Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). As Christians, we know how lethal devil's tactics are; we know many people are still without the armor of God. So, how can we possibly stay unmoved when our Lord tells us, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few (Matthew 9:37)?
“Whom shall I send?” God asked a pressing question in Isaiah 6:8. On hearing God's call, Prophet Isaiah promptly offered his service: “Here I am…send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). So did Simon (Peter), James and John, who radically “left everything and followed him” when Jesus invited them to be fishers of men (Luke 5:11).
It's easy for us to think these were “special people” who had God's special favors. Didn't Jesus commission only his apostles to “make disciples of all nations” on his Ascension (Matthew 28:11,19)? We are no Peter, James and John; no prophet; and no apostles. So, why should we bother?
We may choose to conveniently forget, but the Catechism reminds us that through Baptism and Confirmation, we are consecrated to participate in Christ's mission as priests, prophets and kings (cf. CCC 1546). Like the “special people” above, the clergy, and the religious, we also have the priestly duty of spreading the Gospel.
In Vatican II, the Church officially encouraged all Christians to exercise their priestly duty and help the Church to draw the unbelievers to the Christian faith. Through families, church communities, social and occupational networks, national and international spheres – we have countless opportunities to witness to the Christian faith.
But let's not put the cart before the horse. The witnessing is only as good as the witness himself. To exercise our priestly duty well – to be a good sower of the Lord – our lay ministries must be exercised in unity with Christ. Since the Church is the Body of Christ, it means we must submit ourselves to the teaching authority of the Church.