Day 119: The Church’s Missionary Mandate (849-856)
It’s Day 119!!
Today we are looking at the Church’s missionary mandate
We are called to be ON MISSION
If we are NOT on mission, we are NOT THE CHURCH
Pope Paul VI wrote a document called Evangelii Nuntiandi
EVANGELIZATION IN THE MODERN WORLD
It basically said that if we are NOT living on mission then we are NOT disciples of Jesus
The Church HAS to be missionary
Paragraph 849 says, “The missionary mandate…”
Meaning we were SENT BY JESUS
Paragraph 850 says, “The origin and purpose of mission…”
What’s the whole POINT of it in the first place?
Paragraph 851 says, “Missionary motivation…”
WHY are we doing this?
Paragraph 852 says, “Missionary paths.”
How do we do this?
Is it dominating a culture?
Is it being powerful?
Or is it being small?
Is it humble self-service and self-sacrifice?
We are called to have a relationship with the people around us
As we are on mission, the Church is called to enter into this mission with PATIENCE and RESPECT
THAT IS REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT!!
So let’s pray!!
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, we know that you have met us with your Grace. We know that you have given us your Holy Spirit. We know that you have sent your Son into this world to be our Savior. He becomes our Brother. He is our God. You have used other people in our lives to bring us this knowledge of truth. There are people in our lives who have given so much so that we can know the Truth. Today, Lord God, we ask you to give us a missionary spirit. Give us the same spirit that lived in those people who brought us the Gospel. Give us a heart for others. Give us a faithfulness and a contagious teachability. Give us availability so that we can be sent on mission. We can bring your Truth, your Word, and your Grace to a world that longs for you, even if they don’t know it. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen”
So there we have it!!
God can save those who do not yet know Him
He always saves them through Jesus
He saves them through the Body of Christ, the Church
WE HAVE TO GO ON MISSION!!
Paragraph 849 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and Lo, I am with you always, until the close of the age.’”
THAT IS A MISSIONARY MANDATE!!
WE ARE COMMANDED!!
It is called THE GREAT COMMISSION
Fr. Mike read a book called “THE GREAT OMISSION”
It’s about the idea that all these Christians received the commission by Jesus Himself and we don’t do it
It’s something we DON’T DO
Now for the ORIGIN AND PURPOSE
Fr. Mike talked to many people who say that God can save all those who don’t even know Him, then why go out?
Paragraph 850 says, “The origin and purpose of mission. The Lord’s missionary mandate is ultimately grounded in the eternal love of the Most Holy Trinity…”
Here is God Himself, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
In an ETERNAL EXCHANGE OF LOVE
What does God WANT to do?
Paragraph 850 continues, “The ultimate purpose of mission is none other than to make men share in the communion between the Father and the Son in their Spirit of love.”
GOD LOVES THEM!!
Why does He send us out to all people?
Because there are people in this world who are living as if life doesn’t mean anything
They are walking through this world and they have NO IDEA THAT GOD EXISTS
They have no idea that the Lord God Himself loves them so much, knows their name, cares about them, and sent His own Son into this world so that they can be SAVED
He also gives them the Holy Spirit so that they can have a relationship with Him
So why would we NOT go out to all the world?
St. Francis Xavier had a conversion in college thanks to St. Ignatius of Loyola, who was the founder of the Jesuits
He was sent by St. Ignatius to India and other places in the Far East
When he wrote to his brothers back in Europe about how many people in India longed to hear the Gospel
And how many people in India were lost because the only reason they weren’t Christians was because there was no one there to make them Christians or help them become Christians
He said, “How I would long to go back to the halls of the universities all throughout Europe and run through the hallways like a crazy man!”
How many people are dying because you don’t love them?
How many people are dying because you’re not willing to give your life so that they can hear the Gospel of Jesus?
Fr. Mike doesn’t mean this as a guilt trip
Is our love so small in not wanting to leave our comfortable lives in order to bring the Gospel somewhere else?
God’s whole point is that they can come to know His love
Paragraph 851 says, “Missionary motivation. It is from God’s love for all men that the Church in every age receives both the obligation and the vigor of her missionary dynamism, ‘for the love of Christ urges us on.’ Indeed, God ‘desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth’...”
How can they come to the knowledge of the truth if no one is out there to speak the truth or bring them the truth?
Paragraph 851 continues, “Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way of salvation.”
So ANYONE who has the truth has some degree of salvation
Paragraph 851 continues, “But the Church, to whom this truth has been entrusted, must go out to meet their desire, so as to bring them the truth.”
THAT IS SO SO POWERFUL!!
So what are the MISSIONARY PATHS?
Not the will to dominate
The missionary path is THE PATH OF JESUS
Paragraph 852 says, “‘This mission continues and, in the course of history, unfolds the mission of Christ, who was sent to evangelize the poor; so the Church, urged on by the Spirit of Christ, must walk the road Christ himself walked, a way of poverty and obedience, of service and self-sacrifice even to death, a death from which he emerged victorious by his resurrection.’”
THAT IS SO IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF US!!
THE BLOOD OF MARTYRS IS THE SEED OF CHRISTIANS (Tertullian)
Those martyrs who bore witness to the Gospel, the Truth, to God with their VERY LIVES
NOT in power
But what looked like weakness
That became the SEED of the Christians
When Christians are not the dominant cultural influence…
We are walking like our Savior, Jesus…
Then there is nothing more powerful in passing on the Gospel than that
Paragraph 854 says, “Missionary endeavor requires patience.”
If you’ve ever tried to share the Gospel, that is 100% true
It can be so painful
Paragraph 854 continues, “There will be times of defeat.”
We have been called to go out into the world
We have been called to do our best to bring the TRUTH OF JESUS CHRIST and the LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST to a world that even if they don’t know it, they LONG for the TRUTH
They LONG for that LOVE
BECAUSE EVERY HUMAN BEING IS MADE FOR TRUTH!!
EVERY HUMAN BEING IS MADE FOR LOVE!!
Every human being has a heart that is BROKEN
Every human being has an intellect that has been DIMMED
Every one of us sometimes has the temptation to RUN AWAY FROM TRUTH and HIDE FROM LOVE
So it requires PATIENCE
There will be times of defeat
God says that YOU ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR
In Jesus YOU ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR
Someone fought for YOU in spite of your STUBBORNNESS
In spite of your REJECTION OF THE GOSPEL
In spite of your COLDNESS
That’s what happened to Fr. Mike so many times (And me as well!!! I was stubborn as an ox in rejecting the Catholic Faith for a long time….and now here I am 😀)
Even after Fr. Mike came to know who Jesus is
Even after Fr. MIke came to know the Eucharist and the Church
Fr. Mike had a hard heart when people spoke TRUTH to him
God told him HE WAS WORTH FIGHTING FOR
So was Fr. Mike willing to fight for OTHERS WHO WERE WORTH FIGHTING FOR?
God says that YOU are worth loving even when you are hard to love
So are YOU willing to love others when they are hard to love? 🤯 🤯
YOU are worth seeking out and bringing the Gospel to
Are YOU willing to take that step so that others can know the LOVE that you know?
So that others can have a relationship with the Father that you have?
THAT IS OUR MISSIONARY MANDATE!!
THAT IS THE GREAT COMMISSION!!
AT THE HEART OF IT IS LOVE!!
Let’s pray for each other that love GROWS and GETS MORE POWERFUL and CANNOT BE CONTAINED and that we BRING THAT LOVE TO THE WORLD
THIS WORLD NEEDS JESUS!!
THIS WORLD NEEDS THE HEALING THAT THE CHURCH CAN BRING!!
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!