Day 121: The Apostolate (863-870)
It’s Day 121!!
Today we are talking about THE APOSTOLATE
Paragraph 863 says, “The whole Church is apostolic, in that she remains, through the successors of St. Peter and the other apostles, in communion of faith and life with her origin: and in that she is ‘sent out’ into the whole world.”
The word “APOSTOLOI” means those who are sent or EMISSARY
For the Church to truly remain Apostolic, it’s not just to say that we have apostolic succession
The Church exercises being sent out in THE APOSTOLATE
JESUS HAS TO BE AT THE CENTER OF THIS!!
Not only does Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Glory of the Father have to be at the center of every missionary activity of the Church as we are being sent out into the world
Paragraph 864 says, “But [Love], drawn from the Eucharist above all, is always ‘as it were, the soul of the whole apostolate.’”
Paragraph 865 says, “The kingdom has come in the person of Christ and grows mysteriously in the hearts of those incorporated into him, until its full eschatological manifestation.”
What does that mean?
It means there is a BEGINNING
The Kingdom of Christ has come in the person of Jesus
It continues to grow in the hearts of the faithful who follow Jesus
It will CONTINUE to grow until the very end of time
It will be COMPLETE
It will be FULL
It will be WHOLE
AT THE END OF TIME
Let’s say a prayer!!
Let’s lift up our hearts and our minds to the Father knowing that it is not the point to just simply hear about the Lord and His Church
TO BELONG TO THE LORD!!
TO SERVE AS APOSTLES!!
TO BE SENT OUT BY JESUS AND KNOW THAT LOVE HAS TO BE AT THE HEART OF OUR LIFE
LOVE HAS TO BE THE SOUL OF OUR APOSTOLATE!!
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, we first thank you for pouring love into our hearts in your Holy Spirit. We thank you for revealing the depth of your Love in Jesus Christ. We ask you to continue to pour that love into our hearts for all the times, Lord God, that we have wasted the love you have given to us. For all the times that we have been numb or indifferent to your gifts. We ask that you please wake us up. Help us to acknowledge the fact that you are present, you are God, you are Good, and you love us. Give us that love so that we can be emissaries of love. That we can be apostles of love to your world. God, there are so many people in this world who do not know how much you love them. Help us to be united to the Apostolate of the whole Church and to do our small part, or our large part, to just bring your love to whatever tiny corner of the world we happen to find ourselves. Help us to love the people around us well today. Help them to know that in our loving them, they are reminded of your unstoppable and unfailing love for each one of them. We make this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen”
So there we have it!!
Fr. Mike did not define APOSTOLATE
It’s a good thing the Catechism reminds us
Paragraph 863 says, “Indeed we call an apostolate ‘every activity of the Mystical Body’ that aims ‘to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth.’”
Whatever Christians are doing to spread the Kingdom of Heaven over all the earth
“APOSTOLOI” means emissary or to be sent out
As we are sent into the world, both ordained/consecrated and laypeople to recognize that EVERY ACTION of the Mystical Body and EVERY ACTION of the Christian that aims at spreading the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth
THAT is an apostolate
This is not just for the bishops or the Pope or people who are in officially sanctioned ministries of the Church
EVERY ACTIVITY OF THE MYSTICAL BODY THAT AIMS TO SPREAD THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST OVER ALL THE EARTH IS AN APOSTOLATE!!
Paragraph 863 says, “‘The Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well.’”
WE ARE MEANT TO BE SENT!!
WE HAVE BEEN SET APART TO BE SENT OUT!!
THAT IS SO SO IMPORTANT!!
NO ONE IS DISQUALIFIED FROM THIS!!
Fr. Mike is sharing a story about his mom now
Every single one of us is called WHEREVER WE ARE PLANTED to say, “How can I bring the Kingdom of God HERE?”
That is a good question we can ALL ask
The very nature of being a Christian is the call to an apostolate
In YOUR life
In MY life
Where is God calling me to simply bring His Kingdom so that the Kingdom shines a little bit more brightly in my world?
Sometimes we get motivated to do this and brace ourselves
Paragraph 864 says, “‘Christ, sent by the Father, is the source of the Church’s whole apostolate’; thus the fruitfulness of apostolate for ordained ministers as well as for lay people clearly depends on their vital union with Christ.”
JESUS IS THE SOURCE OF EVERYTHING!!
THEIR VITAL UNION WITH CHRIST
If we want to bear fruit, then we have to be UNITED WITH OUR SOURCE
The source of ALL LIFE
What did Jesus say?
“Apart from me, you can do nothing.”
The fruitfulness of every ministry and apostolate will ultimately depend on our VITAL UNION WITH CHRIST
Your spending time with God’s Word in the Bible…
Your spending time at Mass and in Adoration…
Your spending time HERE listening and learning about God’s revelation to us as it is distilled and given to us in the Catechism…
This is all meant to INFLAME THAT VITAL UNION WITH CHRIST
WHICH IS SO SO IMPORTANT!!
Of course, LOVE has to be at the heart of EVERYTHING
Paragraph 864 continues, “But charity, drawn from the Eucharist above all, is always ‘as it were, the soul of the whole apostolate.’”
Fr. Mike read a book called “THE SOUL OF THE APOSTOLATE”
It is INCREDIBLY CONVICTING
It reminds the reader that we can all fall into the traps of “busy means holy”
We can all fall into the trap of thinking we are doing a lot for the Lord and forget about the Lord
We can talk so much about God that we forget to SPEND TIME WITH GOD
We can teach about God so often but we forget that we are meant to LOVE GOD and we are meant to EXPERIENCE HIS LOVE FOR US
The book reminds us that love, that vital union with Jesus Christ, has to be at the heart of EVERYTHING THAT WE DO
Let’s talk about the MCNUGGETS
The first 4 are all about how the Church is ONE HOLY CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC CHURCH
These are some of the best MCNUGGETS we have gotten so far
Paragraph 866 says, “The Church is one: she acknowledges one Lord, confesses one faith, is born of one Baptism, forms only one Body, is given life by the one Spirit, for the sake of one hope, at whose fulfillment all divisions will be overcome.”
We do experience divisions
Sometimes there can be tension between believers
There are Catholic Christians and non-Catholic Christians
Sometimes pointing out that we experience division can be painful in and of itself
AND THAT IS OK!!
We are meant to work for UNITY!!
We are meant to PRAY that THOSE DIVISIONS ARE OVERCOME
That is what is SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN
That is what GOD WANTS TO HAPPEN
At the same time…
The Church takes pains to affirm that there is GOODNESS
If you are a non-Catholic Christian, we do believe that the Lord is CALLING YOU TO BECOME CATHOLIC
That is not to say in becoming Catholic you have to say that the denomination or the church you were raised in was bad or didn’t have holiness or didn’t have goodness
NOT AT ALL!!
Paragraph 870 says, “‘The sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic, and apostolic,...subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside its visible confines.’”
IT IS POWERFUL!!
So wherever you are coming from, the Catholic Church is trying to say that all those elements of holiness are REAL
All those elements of truth are REAL AS WELL
So would you like to take the next step and realize your FULL INHERITANCE that God WANTS you to experience and WANTS you to have
This is for all the Catholic Christians here as well and going through the Catechism for the first time
Maybe you are going through the Bible too
THIS IS OUR INHERITANCE!!
For years, many Catholics did not realize the goodness the God has for them
They slowly realize this
THIS IS SUCH A GIFT!!
ALL OF US NEED TO GROW!!
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!