Monday, May 21, 2018

Calling Forth "Spirit-Filled Evangelizers"

In this Pentecost week, the Church ponders anew her ongoing mission to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people.  Under the watchful care of "Blessed Mary, Mother of the Church" (the newest feast day on the liturgical calendar--now celebrated globally on the Monday after Pentecost), Catholics around the world must respond to the urgent call articulated by Pope Francis:

"Spirit-filled evangelizers means evangelizers
fearlessly open to the working of the Holy Spirit....
Jesus wants evangelizers who proclaim the good news not only with words,
but above all by a life transfigured by God's presence."

(EG, n. 259)

Here are a few specific ways to consider contributing to this universal call to "go, make disciples of all nations":

  • The Pontifical Missions Society--Pope Francis's "Missio" projects provide opportunities to participate in various ways.
  • The Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)--A papal agency for humanitarian and pastoral support.

  • Share the Journey--Pope Francis's two-year campaign supporting migrants and refugees.

    Finally, with the prayer which Pope Francis used to conclude The Joy of the Gospel (EG, n. 288), let us move forward confident of our Lady's maternal intercession:

  • Mary, Virgin and Mother,
    you who, moved by the Holy Spirit,
    welcomed the word of life
    in the depths of your humble faith:
    as you gave yourself completely to the Eternal One,
    help us to say our own “yes”
    to the urgent call, as pressing as ever,
    to proclaim the good news of Jesus.

    Filled with Christ’s presence,
    you brought joy to John the Baptist,
    making him exult in the womb of his mother.
    Brimming over with joy,
    you sang of the great things done by God.
    Standing at the foot of the cross
    with unyielding faith,
    you received the joyful comfort of the resurrection,
    and joined the disciples in awaiting the Spirit
    so that the evangelizing Church might be born.

    Obtain for us now a new ardor born of the resurrection,
    that we may bring to all the Gospel of life
    which triumphs over death.
    Give us a holy courage to seek new paths,
    that the gift of unfading beauty
    may reach every man and woman.

    Virgin of listening and contemplation,
    Mother of love, Bride of the eternal wedding feast,
    pray for the Church, whose pure icon you are,
    that she may never be closed in on herself
    or lose her passion for establishing God’s kingdom.

    Star of the new evangelization,
    help us to bear radiant witness to communion,
    service, ardent and generous faith,
    justice and love of the poor,
    that the joy of the Gospel
    may reach to the ends of the earth,
    illuminating even the fringes of our world.

    Mother of the living Gospel,
    wellspring of happiness for God’s little ones,
    pray for us.
    Amen. Alleluia!