What if it’s all true?
What if Jesus’ call to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,”, and his promise to be with us “until the end of the age” are true?
What if we really are called to make disciples of the whole world?
What if we embraced this call?
What if we take Jesus’ I AM statements, I AM …the Vine, … the Bread of Life. … the Way, the Truth and the Life, … the Good Shepherd/Sheepgate, … the Light of the World, … the Resurrection and the Life … as an invitation to lead us into a deep, personal, meaningful relationship with him?
What if Jesus meant all that he said?
A Personal Relationship
A personal relationship with Jesus is not only possible, but the aim of our faith. It is not just “nice to have,” but necessary.
In 1992, St. John Paul II wrote,
“We are called by our Baptism into a deep relationship with Jesus.
It is necessary to awaken again in believers a full relationship with Christ,
mankind’s only Savior.
Only from a personal relationship with Jesus
can an effective evangelization develop.”
Not just the Ordained or Professed.
Not just the “Holy People.”
Not just the special people who serve at the altar, or the smart, or the learned, or the charismatic, or the old, or the young. All of us – you and me and the person sitting next to you in the pew, and the person in line with you at the grocery store.
It is the call of our Baptism.
Our Mission – Evangelize and Make Disciples
A deep relationship with Jesus is not an end to itself, however. We are called to work at, pay attention to, grow, and develop our relationship with Jesus of Nazareth, SO THAT we are ready to tell others about the Jesus whom we know and love (Evangelize), and invite them to be disciples with us (Make Disciples).
If you are saying “I could never do this,” or “This is not for me,” don’t fret.
It doesn’t matter where you start. All you need is a desire to move forward, and an attention to the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is already at work in our lives! He has a mission for you.
How will it make a difference to know that Jesus is already working in your life to get you to heaven and bring about the Kingdom of God?
The God of all Creation, the second person of the Holy Trinity is already at work to bring you (and those near you) to Heaven. Jesus is praying for you. God encourages you to make the choices that you need to spend eternity in Heaven.
How awesome is that?!
God created you with special gifts and talents and wants you to use them to help bring about God’s Kingdom. We call this our mission. God has a mission for you!
What do you really mean by Evangelization and Discipleship?
These can be scary words for some Catholic Christians, so let’s spend a little time with them, to remove their mystique.
Evangelization comes from the Greek, meaning to “tell the good news.” For us as Catholic Christians, the Good News is that Jesus’ Love and Mercy pour into our lives. Jesus calls us to tell others about this, in the Great Commission. In a real sense, Evangelization is “Good News”-ization. It is about telling others about our best friend, Jesus.
Discipleship comes from the Latin meaning “student.” As students of Jesus, we are called to live in the way that Jesus showed us, emcracing His Mission for us, through Prayer, Sacrament and Scripture. Prayer engages us in conversation with Jesus. Sacraments provide direct access to the Lord, especially through Eucharist and Reconciliation. In Scripture, we read Jesus’ words, and see His actions and His pastoral care and mercy for us.
The way that we take what Jesus has gifted us, and give it to others is called Relational Ministry. Disciples make other Disciples. Programs can help to identify who might be ready to deepen their relationship with the Lord, but alone, they are not able to make new Disciples.
It is only through friendship with those who already have that relationship with Jesus, and live the life of a Disciple, that one can hope to become a Disciple.
This is the great Mission into which Jesus calls us.
This is our call to “Go and Make Disciples.”
What is our role as Parish leaders?
For those in Parish Leadership, the question boils down to how we, individually and as a community, live out the call to “be church.” What do we emphasize? What is important to us? How do we introduce (or reintroduce) Parishioners, even those who attend Mass regularly, to the person of Jesus? Evangelization is found in this.
Some questions to ponder for your Parish
- How well am I staying connected to Jesus? How am I introducing others to Jesus, in my own life?
- In what ways are we introducing our Parishioners to Jesus? What other ways should we consider introducing our Parishioners to Jesus?
- How can we support those who want to deepen their relationship with Jesus?
- How can the Sacraments, especially Eucharist and Reconciliation, help our Parishioners become Disciples of Jesus, who call forth more Disciples?
For More Information
Contact Deacon Phil DiBello at [email protected] to set up an exploratory conversation.
Visit http://massevangelize.org for more information on the services that we offer, and for the endorsements we have received.
 Matthew 28:20 (The final verse of St. Matthew’s Gospel)
 Also Matthew 28:20
 Matthew 28:19-20
 From The Evangelical Catholic (Madison, Wisconsin)
 Also from The Evangelical Catholic (Madison, Wisconsin)