What are the biblical, catechetical, spiritual, and theological foundations for the mission of the Church? To provide this reflection, I have compiled a sampling of different thoughts from the teachings of the Church on this topic.
Question to Ponder:
It was not until the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles at Pentecost that they left the upper room and began preaching the Gospel. How can you open yourself to the workings of the Holy Spirit to more boldly proclaim the Gospel?
Week Three Challenge
Slowly, thoughtfully and prayerfully read the following quotes “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.”
“The word ‘catholic’ means ‘universal,’ in the sense of ‘according to the totality’ or ‘in keeping with the whole.’ The Church is catholic in a double sense: First, the Church is catholic because Christ is present in her…Secondly, the Church is catholic because she has been sent out by Christ on a mission to the whole of the human race.”
“In the course of twenty centuries of history, the generations of Christians have periodically faced various obstacles to this universal mission. On the one hand, on the part of the evangelizers themselves, there has been the temptation for various reasons to narrow down the field of their missionary activity. On the other hand, there has been the often humanly insurmountable resistance of the people being addressed by the evangelizer… Despite such adversities, the Church constantly renews her deepest inspiration, that which comes to her directly from the Lord: To the whole world! To all creation! Right to the ends of the earth!”
St. Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, 50 (1975)
“The Holy Spirit is indeed the principal agent of the whole of the Church’s mission.”
St. John Paul II, Encyclical Redemptoris Missio, 21 (1990)
“In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples (cf. Mt 28:19)… Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus: we no longer say that we are ‘disciples’ and ‘missionaries’, but rather that we are always ‘missionary disciples’.
Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 120 (2013)
“Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”