In honor of the Feast of the Assumption of our Blessed Mother and our Lady of Guadalupe, Star of the New Evangelization we reflect on the call to be missionary disciples in our Church.
Every Christian is called to be a bringer of the Gospel. All who have encountered Jesus are called to know, live, and share the Gospel with joyful hearts as missionary disciples. However, while missionary discipleship aims to reach those living in the peripheries it is not limited to those on the outskirts but is consistent of our immediate spheres of influence, in our homes, with our extended friends and families, and our workplace. At its root to be a missionary disciple we must witness to Christ in all aspects of our lives so as to proclaim Jesus Christ and live in a state of prayerful missionary activity.
Yet we are not required to do this alone. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus’ disciples were empowered to share the message of the Gospel. It was the apostles who turned the world upside down through doing and proclaiming the teachings of Christ. Let us use the apostles as our intercessors and inspiration going forward in missionary activity. Our recent popes have stressed this call, Pope Bl. Paul VI said that the Church exists in order to evangelize. Similarly, Pope St. John Paul II stressed the need for commitment of the New Evangelization, and most recently by Pope Francis has called all Christians to be missionary disciples in the spiritual war zone of our times.
In response to this call our Catholic Bishops have sent out resources and tools for us to engage in missionary activity. Beginning this past April (with on-going course sessions available), The Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA invited all members of the archdiocese to participate in the Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry (V Encuentro) by taking the free online course titled Missionary Disciples: Witnesses of God’s Love. MCCW Leadership and many military spouses from across the globe responded to this invitation by participating on the online course.
The five week course highlights the heart of the V Encuentro process, which is to provide opportunities of reflection, evangelization and consultation, through themes inspired by Pope Francis’ call to foster a culture of Encounter. By entering into dialogue and contemplating the call to be a missionary disciple we are able to better engage in evangelizing missions and consultations in the peripheries. Which is all to be documented in the larger process to discern pastoral implications for our faith communities.
We wish to extend this invitation as the next course cycle to be offered through the University of Dayton’s Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) will be available from September 2- October 6, 2017. You may contact FaithFormation@milarch.org to register or for more information.
For we are born for a time such as this…We pray you may reflect and answer the call to be an evangelizing missionary disciple and light the world on fire for God’s love.
MCCW V Encuentro Coordinator