Living as Missionary Disciples
The Pope’s prayer intention for this month is that every baptized person may be engaged in evangelization, available to the mission, by being witnesses of a life that has the flavor of the Gospel. This is a reminder that each and everyone one of us, as baptized Christians, has a part in sharing the Good News of Christ.
What does it mean to be a missionary disciple? How do we engage in evangelization? Does it mean we have to approach strangers, “talk Jesus” with them, push our Christian views on them, invite those strangers to join us at Mass? While Holy Spirit may move us in some situations to engage in spiritual conversations with strangers, evangelization is not about proselytizing, trying to convert others to our faith.
Being missionary disciples and evangelizing the world is about “proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God” everywhere, all the time, to everyone (Luke 8:1). Being engaged with evangelization is about living the Great Commandment – loving God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength; and expressing our love for God through our love for our neighbors. Evangelization is sharing our love for God with every person we encounter and all of creation. It is allowing God to use us as conduits of love and mercy.
Pope Francis reminds us of this call this month and explains how we all have a “missionary mandate that touches us personally: I am a mission, always; you are a mission, always; every baptized man and woman is a mission. People in love never stand still: they are drawn out of themselves; they are attracted and attract others in turn; they give themselves to others and build relationships that are life-giving.”
Let us open our hearts to God and invite Holy Spirit to move in and through us to make our actions and words conduits of Christ’s love. Let us share our love of God with our parish and community through acts of service. Let us pause and invite Holy Spirit to help us discern appropriate actions before making decisions. Let us become more aware of the needs of our brothers and sisters and reach out to meet those needs. Let us commit our lives to sharing the love of Christ with every person we encounter in the street, in public, at work, in our neighborhoods, in our families. Let us re-commit ourselves to living our baptismal call to be missionary disciples of Christ Jesus.