The Easter season – A story of mission!
BY DR. JEFF ANDRINI, OFFICE OF EVANGELIZATION AND DISCIPLESHIP
The early Church was born through the power of the Holy Spirit. The disciples huddled in fear following the crucifixion as they contemplated the end of their journey with Jesus. Then the unimaginable happened, he rose from the dead and they were transformed!
Jesus came, stood in their midst and offered them peace. He walked with the disciples for a short time following the resurrection and told them that he was going to the Father and that it was better for them if he went, for then he could send the Holy Spirit.
The disciples responded, “Wait, we thought you were coming to restore the kingdom of Israel and make God’s kingdom present in the here and now.” Jesus said, “Yep.” They responded, “But how will you do this if you are leaving?” Jesus looked them square in the eye, as he does to you and to me today and said, “Through each of you!” Boom – they were sent on mission and filled with the Holy Spirit, which equipped them to live the teachings of Jesus. The Easter season is filled with stories from the early Church about how the Holy Spirit moved among the people and how God worked through his transformed disciples.
This story continues today in each of our lives! This Easter season the Diocese of Owensboro is doing something special. We are proclaiming our mission: “To be missionary disciples of Jesus, making present the kingdom of God” and praying the Prayer of Evangelization as we seek to foster a renewed culture of prayer, team work and vibrant Christian community.
While it is true that things look a little bleak in our world today, it is also true that being Catholic is a great gift and following Jesus is filled with innumerable blessings. Like the early Church, we too are only human and do not have all the answers, but Jesus transforms us as his disciples to be on mission to bring about God’s kingdom in our midst. We can only live this mission in and through a life-giving and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Without God, we can do nothing of lasting worth. But when transformed by God through the Paschal Mystery and in our daily walk with Jesus, we have an abundance of God’s love and grace to share with the world.
A professional football analogy may help here. Imagine 80,000 people in the stands in need of a little exercise, cheering on 22 men in desperate need of a little rest. The Church needs all of us to be praying daily, growing in our friendship with Jesus, and receiving Jesus’ body and blood often. This leads to personal transformation and recognition that by our baptism, we are ALL called to be missionary disciples of Jesus. We each have gifts, talents, and leadership abilities, and are called to serve Jesus by serving the Church and our world.
Dr. Jeff Andrini is the director of the Office of Evangelization and Discipleship. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally printed in the May 2022 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.