A Community on a Mission
As we continue our festive celebration of Easter the scriptures today describe the indomitable love of God for us; a love that could not be extinguished by the cruelty of crucifixion, the “finality” of death, nor a set of locked doors in the Upper Room where the disciples were gathered in fear of their lives.
Jesus was determined to carry the astoundingly great news of the resurrection to his apostles personally! Surprisingly, he chose to share this news with his former companions in a very specific way: Forgiveness. The horror of the crucifixion and death of Jesus drove Judas to suicide (total despair); Peter to deny him; and the other disciples (like Thomas) to abandon him and the mission in fear and hopelessness. The community that Jesus had formed among his followers was shattered and seemingly beyond repair. But his Mercy would change all of that. It does the same in our lives if we are open to accept it and willing share it.
At the end of this month on Saturday April 28th I have invited all of the heads of the different ministries in the parish (about 40) to come together to spend the morning with me for a mini workshop on the Church’s call and mission to “spread the Good News of the Gospel”; or, in short, to evangelize. Since the Good News is a Person, our mission is to lead people to a personal and life-changing encounter with the Risen Lord. Throughout the 50 days of Easter we will be reading about many such encounters which changed people’s lives forever! So, the purpose of our gathering of ministry heads at the end of this month is to: Gain a deeper appreciation of this great and high calling to lead others to this life-changing encounter; clearly identify how we are already carrying out this mission through our parish ministries each day and to explore how we can do this more consciously, deliberately and effectively moving forward. Finally, I want to hear directly from our ministry heads how I, as pastor, my staff (clergy and lay) and our Parish Pastoral Council can support them in carrying out the work of evangelization.
With the help of the Risen Lord, the True Head of our ministries and our Church, we too can carry on his Mission of Mercy which restores hope and changes lives forever!