Mission Report – March 1, 2018

February 28, 2018

The Gospel of Mark records Jesus’ call of his first disciples in this way:

As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea-”for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, -Follow me and I will make you fish for people.- And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed- him. (Mk 1:16-20)

Can you recall an experience of significance from your own life? A moment when your world was immediately different and all that you valued and held to be meaningful was changed forever? It is this type of experience that is the seed of our Christian faith.

Pope Benedict XV put it this way when discussing St Paul:

-[The] transformation of [one’s] life [is] not the result of a psychological process, of an intellectual or moral evolution … but the fruit of [a] meeting with Christ Jesus. … St. Paul’s renewal cannot be explained in any other way. Psychological analyses cannot clarify and resolve the problem; only an event, the forceful encounter with Christ, is the key to understanding what happened.

– -Christianity is not a new philosophy or a new form of morality. We are only Christians if we encounter Christ, even if He does not reveal Himself to us as clearly and irresistibly as he did to Paul in making him the Apostle of the Gentiles. We can also encounter Christ in reading Holy Scripture, in prayer, and in the liturgical life of the Church – touch Christ’s heart and feel that Christ touches ours. And it is only in this personal relationship with Christ, in this meeting with the Risen One, that we are truly Christian.”

How this encounter with Jesus may happen in the uniqueness of our own lives is a deeply personal thing. We may encounter Jesus in reading Holy Scripture or in liturgy, or it may be through the service of others. This is why our Mission Team offers the Faith in Action Domain -“ because service in the pursuit of peace, solidarity, inclusion and justice emerges from or is a path to love. To be a person of Christian faith is to be a person who has fallen in love with God and neighbour, and from that love we endure in the actions that transform our world. May this Lent be a time of deeper encounters with Jesus.