Do you live as a Missionary Disciple? Did you know that you are called to be one? Do you even know what that is?
Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) states this: “The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew...I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.”
Are you filled with this JOY OF THE GOSPEL? If not, it will be very difficult to share it! Pope Francis states “it fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.”
Perhaps right now, like me, you are in need of an invigorating refill? If so, you may want to say this simple prayer: “Jesus I need a fresh encounter with You! Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and with this bring me your JOY! By Your grace, I throw open the doors of my heart to you now. Please take my burdens and worries and give to me Yourself! Please, dear Lord, come and fill me now! Thank You!” And just sit in His Loving Light and picture Him filling you from the tip of your toes to the top of your head with Himself...and smiling.
Then, you might want to decide to spend this summer getting to know Him better. The Joy filled Gospel of John is twenty-one chapters long. Take The Twenty-One Day Challenge and read just one chapter a day-- then let me know how it goes! Go to: http://www.usccb.org/bible/john/1 and begin today. As you read, prayerfully ask Jesus to speak to you on every page. It is just that easy. You can’t give what you don’t have...but “with Christ joy is constantly born anew…”
On Saturday, I, along with eleven others from the Archdiocese of Washington will meet up with 3,988 other delegates from across the USA in Orlando, Florida. We will spend four days at the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops Convocation for Catholic Leaders. There we hope to listen and learn from one another new ways and best practices for becoming Missionary Disciples. We truly hope and pray that this can be part of: “pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.”
Pray for us!* Because we, like you are to be, “permanently in a state of mission.” Only by His grace can this happen and only by personally encountering Him, loving one another enough to share our faith story** and being filled with His Spirit can we pass along the “Joy of the Gospel.”
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you." John 15:11.
*Prayer for the Convocation of Catholic Leaders:
“O Holy Spirit, you who first enkindled in our hearts the joy of the Gospel, renew that same joy in those who are preparing for the Convocation of Catholic Leaders.
Enflame the hearts of our bishops and their diocesan delegations; leaders of national organizations and movements; clergy, religious and laity; all who make this event possible; and Catholic leaders across the United States.
Move us to welcome the word of life in the depth of our hearts and respond to the call of missionary discipleship.
O Holy Spirit, transform our hearts and enable us to enter into the perfect communion that you share with the Father and the Son.
Mary, Star of the New Evangelization, pray for us. Amen.”
** Want to learn to tell your faith story easily and naturally in less than three minutes? While quietly LIVING our faith is absolutely necessary...sometimes WORDS are needed as well. Scott Hahn says this: “If you really think your witness is sufficient, that words aren’t necessary, go talk to your sister or your spouse and ask them if the witness of your life is so powerful, so moving and complete, that they can just look at you and know everything they could ever possibly need to know about God, Jesus Christ, and the Church...or is something, at least occasionally, lacking?” Simply write down what your life was like before you had a personal encounter with God. Then, how you encountered/encounter Him now. And what benefits or changes (the fruit) that have occurred in your life since the encounter. It’s that easy! If you are ready, you will be surprised how God will use you to be “permanently in a state of mission.” Want more help and ideas? Read BORN TO SOAR, UNLEASHING GOD’S WORD IN YOUR LIFE, chapter six. Order it here! https://shop.franciscanmedia.org/collections/all/melissa-overmyer