Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday --
some times called The Church's Birthday,
because as the Holy Spirit touched the Disciples,
and those who could hear them,
They were sent on a mission from God --
and we are called to follow their lead.
Yes, We're on a mission from God!
OK, so the quote from the 1980 movie "The Blues Brothers" came to mind. I saw the movie many years ago, and I do not recall most of it -- but I do recall this line. Seems it was repeated throughout the movie (view the video linked from YouTube above to see as a group in Chicago pulled them for use.) In any event, if these Blues Brothers had been Baptized Catholics, they would indeed be sent on a mission from God -- just like we are!
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we read: "Reborn as sons of God, [the baptized] must profess before men the faith they have received from God through the Church" and participate in the apostolic and missionary activity of the People of God (#1270).
So, as the Baptized, we are to carry on this work of the Apostles. We have learned to do this by watching and learning from the examples of our families -- those in our homes, in our communities, and in our Church.
We share stories of faith, read Scripture, pray together....and then are sent out to share our faith with others -- this is the missionary activity of the People of God.
In the Gospel from Pentecost, Jesus tells the Disciples: "As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21).
Remember, Jesus didn't say, "Stay in the upper room and only talk amongst yourselves." No -- Jesus and our Creator sent the Holy Spirit to give us the gifts of wisdom,understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord (wonder and awe)... and the power to speak so that others can understand! (Back to the Pentecost readings.) What an awesome responsibility we have to go forth and share the Gospel. This is what evangelization is.
Fortunately, we do not have to (nor should we) do it alone.
The Church was born to guide and support us.
The Church helps us with the mission from God.
How does your parish support your mission?
(I hope you respond through worship, sacraments, ministries, resources, community, etc....)
Speaking, of mission, are you familiar with the Mission Statement for the Diocese of Youngstown? It pretty nicely ties in to these ideas:
We are people of God in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown. Blessed with a rich variety of backgrounds and talents, we are a living reflection of the Universal Church.
Through our baptism, we continue Christ’s mission to further the kingdom of God through the human family. We share our living faith by proclaiming the Gospel in word and example. Together we celebrate Christ’s presence in worship and sacraments.
In a spirit of justice, mercy and love, we dedicate ourselves not only to minister to the people in the six counties of northeastern Ohio but also to minister to the world community.
Yes, the Diocese of Youngstown (and it's ministries, like youth and young adult ministries) is on a mission from God! Thank you for being part of this mission! (The Diocese is NOT just the Cathedral, Chancery and diocesan staff....no, it is ALL OF US -- the Baptized that live within these 6 counties in Ohio.) May the Holy Spirit continue to strengthen us to go forth as Jesus has sent us on this Mission from God!
Bonus -- Prayer to the Holy Spirit (by Saint Augustine)
Breathe into me, Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy.
Strengthen me, Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy.
Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy.
Cindee Case, MAPS
Director of the Diocese of Youngstown Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.