This year long journey we are on together is called Journey of Discipleship. The whole point of it is to help us all be better disciples. So what is a disciple? HEAR FROM A FEW Talk about our process What would a parish full of active disciples look like? full, conscious and active participation in the Liturgy deep and varied prayer life rich faith-formation for all members of the parish Show http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =rk8ERxqCZqQ You Tube on Make Disciples
Christ offers his vision of discipleship
A disciple is in love with Christ.
Here’s some ways the CCC describes discipleship
Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him. Luke 5:10-11
Henry Libersat says in his book, Catholic and Confident ……….. And goes on to say two characteristics of Jesus come to mind: unconditional love and obedience to his Father. He points to the Beatitudes as the Jesus pattern of obedience.
Discipleship is about following a person on a path. It’s about conversion and then on-going conversion. A disciple is growing beyond the sin and the self-defeating behaviors that go with being lost. A disciple willingly sets out on a path of more and more dying to sin and selfishness so that Christ may live in him or her. Disciples love God like it says in Matthew 22:37 with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. So we place God in his proper place and our thinking and feeling and being become more and more engaged in a relationship with him. So we spend time with Scripture, attending Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, praying the rosary, regular disciplines of Confession, penance, giving and fasting. Spending time with God away from all the rest of our work and business. Disciples love People including themselves – take time rest and refresh and create relationships. Disciples love their families, and co-workers and friends. They love their church family, their parish and make a commitment to it. And disciples love all kinds of others thru service, ministry and works of justice. And Disciples make disciples because that’s how disciples live and grow in faith, by making other disciples. You cannot be an evangelizer WHICH IS THE ESSENTIAL MISISON OF THE CHURCH if you are not on a Journey of Discipleship – which you are! Read Everyday Saints by Archbishop Jose’ Gomez of Los Angeles
Let’s start by clarifying some terms. Let’s start with the root of the word missionary. Ask for a few responses
Mission means to be sent, to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to all people (not just foreign lands) through our words and actions Christ was sent by the Father to fulfill His father’s mission. So mission is rooted in the Trinity and unfolds according to the Father’s plan. Matthew Mark and Luke all have what is called The Great Commission Matthew 25:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Mark 16: 15 He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Luke 24:46-49 … And he said to them, "Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And (behold) I am sending the promise of my Father upon you… The Holy Spirit To be sent, to proclaim Christ through witness and word to all people Christ was on mission from His Father, commissioned us to continue the mission and sent the Holy Spirit to support us on mission
Blessed John Paul II was a tremendous missionary, said in an encyclical he wrote in 1990 - Redemptoris Missio On the Permanent Validity of the Church’s Missionary Mandate
So we understand that Mission is the responsibility of all the baptized, and takes place everywhere The difference Christ makes in our lives Bringing the Gospel to bear on the culture All of this sounds like evangelization!
Ag Gentes, Second Vatican Council Evangelii Nuntiandi, Pope Paul Vi
And it is. In the document of the second Vatican council it states: One of the Foundational Documents on Evangelization is Pope Paul VI On Evangelization in the Modern World So Mission is being sent and what we are sent to do is evangelization – Basic definition and we will get much more into this later is to witness and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. Now let’s focus a little bit on some of these phrases because they are important to what is happening today. Read highlighted This means that the Church, the people of God, must first seek to HEAR/KNOW/BELIEVE/UNDERSTAND/FOLLOW the name, teaching, life, promises, the Kingdom and the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth SO THAT they, the people of God may witness and proclaim these very things. This point leads us to two things – Discipleship and the New Evangelization
Here’s how I usually summarize evangelization - Witness and Proclamation Both elements must be in place Witness which is the simple living of the faith, your actions. Widely attributed to St. Francis of Assisi is the statement “Preach the Gospel always, if necessary, use words” Speaks to the LOUD Way our actions speak. We Catholics are frequently involved in works of charity and justice – we are feeding the hungry, caring for the homeless, working on behalf of immigrants, clamoring for the world to care about the dignity of human life. These actions are critical to living our Catholic faith off the parish campus. But in those times when we are not working on specific issues or causes our lives, minute by minute, lived in holy happiness will give great witness to all we meet in the ordinary circumstances of life. Our joyful goodness will let people know we are somehow different in a way that is very appeal and very welcoming. Others will want to have what you have and opportunities will arise for you to share the source of your joy. Which leads to proclamation. 1 st letter of Peter Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope And proclamation, which is spreading the Good News in an explicit way. Sharing stories of the difference Christ, God the Catholic faith and community have made in my life in a way that welcomes and invites. Pope Francis in one of his first homilies (in fact, the day after he was elected) said, We can build so many things but if we don’t confess Jesus Christ then something is wrong. We will become a compassionate NGO, but not the Church, the spouse of Christ. Let’s be clear BOTH ARE NECESSARY. Proclamation without witness is hypocrisy, and witness without proclamation is lacking an invitation to others to live in faith, to live in God’s love.
NCCB is now USCCB Call and Response, over and over – Conversion and reconversion throughout life
Every preacher, and each believer, you –called to lead others to faith. Definition of evangelization - proclamation and witness,. “ordinary circumstance of the world” This is where we spend our time in the “ordinary circumstance of the world”– family, jobs, neighborhoods, professional organizations, civic organizations, etc. This witness of life however…. CRITICAL, WITNESS AND PROCLAMATION, we cannot be afraid/ashamed to name our Christian witness and a result of our Catholic faith and our faith in Jesus Christ. CCC has more to say about evangelization and you can read that at your leisure However, you should understand that the Catechism is a wonderful resource to help you understand and help you teach the faith, but evangelization as we will talk about it today is really about sharing your faith. Evangelization is NOT apologetics and it is NOT catechesis it IS witnessing and naming your faith. And catechesis and apologetics do certainly have a place in evangelization.
John Paul II recognized that evangelization had become culturally not a very Catholic thing to do. JP recalls for us previous teachings: “Evangelization is the essential Mission of the Church” EN “Missionary by its very nature” AG “Church exists to evangelize ” EN Paul 6 and called for a refocus on evangelization and to look not just at foreign missions. He coined the term New Evangelization Pope Benedict 16 Continues JP’s concern for new evangelization. He said he wanted to give the new Pontifical Council the task of promoting a renewed evangelization in countries with deep Christian roots which are now experiencing a sense of the "eclipse of God", and becoming increasingly secularized. This is a call to re-evangelize “Christian” countries where there is little evidence to suggest that Christian faith forms the opinions and actions of the citizens at all levels as we increasingly see in our culture materialism and a lack of respect for human life and dignity. United States, Europe and Latin America are the particular focus. In the “Message to the People of God” from the Synod on the New Evangelization which was held this past fall, the synod says, An encounter with the Lord brings about a profound transformation in all who do not close themselves off from him. The impulse coming from this transformation is to communicate to others the richness discovered in the experience of the encounter.
Our current Holy Father in his Easter Vigil message extends an invitation to have an encounter with Christ. It is this encounter with Christ that is what the New Evangelization is all about. And an encounter with Christ is life-changing and in such a deep and exciting way that we JUST HAVE TO SHARE IT! And strive to bring others to their own encounter with Christ! And that’s what we’re going to work on next!
Let’s go back to this. We are going to spend some time on proclamation. I think most Catholics are not very explicit in sharing their faith. We have not formed comfortable and natural ways to express our faith. So we are going to spend some time working on our faith stories
The fact is, Human Witness is very powerful! When people speak from the heart others listen Every one of us can be a witness to what God has done in our own lives. To be able to speak that witness in our own words, in true encounter and with respect for others when they are searching, opens up for us an indispensible resource for helping others discover God. Finding our own stories – I shared the story of my grandmother's death, Marilyn's story of the angel who brought her a sense of God while in the hospital…… Conversion invites conversion.
If we believe that we are called to be evangelizers and that evangelization means bringing the Good News into every situation, then we are surrounded by opportunities to evangelize. And most of these don’t happen in a Church setting. Evangelization is not religious aggression. The human context in which people honestly meet people and let them keep their full freedom (no coercion or manipulation) always forms the framework for evangelization. If you are open to sharing faith, then you will become sensitive to signals people are sending us about their readiness to discuss faith.
We are going to use this next hour to discover the ways God has touched your life through your own personal history. Think of the disciples and all the stories of the Acts of the Apostles we’ve been hearing in the Easter season. Their experiences compelled them to share the good news. Don’t we all have experiences of faith that would be worth sharing? I do, Marilyn does, I think we are not too different from the rest of you. In these stories we discover and share, we are creating points of access for other people to see that they too could be touched, changed and saved by a new life in Christ. Today’s workbook has been created based on…which is available for sale for $6 if you are interested. Today we are just spending a small amount of time working on our stories but I hope you will continue to reflect on the experiences of your life that you could share with another. Remember Evangelization is the essential mission of the Church and is the responsibility of all disciples. This may not be easy, that’s OK. In the Second Letter to Timothy, Timothy is encouarged to fulfill his ministry - proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; This is our work, easy or diffucult, convenient or not. So let’
Journey of Discipleship
Session 5 – Saturday, May 11, 2013
Vicki Compton, Director
Office for the Missions
Journey of Discipleship
How can I be a more faithful and
How can I be holy in this age?
How can we do this together?
What is a disciple?
What does discipleship look like?
Think and jot down a few ideas in your
Christianity without discipleship is always
Christianity without Christ. Dieterich Bonhoffer
“…My children I will be with you only a little
while longer. I give you a new
commandment: love one another. As I
have loved you, so you also should love
one another. This is how all will know
that you are my disciples, if you have
love for one another.”
Pope Benedict XVI
Discipleship and mission are like the two
sides of a single coin: when the
disciple is in love with Christ, she/he
cannot stop proclaiming to the world
that only in him do we find salvation. In
effect, the disciple knows that without
Christ there is no light, no hope, no
love, no future.
At Aparedida, 2007
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Christ's disciples are to conform themselves to him until he is formed
in them. 562
The disciple of Christ must not only keep the faith and live on it, but
also profess it, confidently bear witness to it, and spread it. 1816
By loving one another, the disciples imitate the love of Jesus which
they themselves received 1823
Loving your enemy 2262
Carrying your cross 2427
Living in truth 2466
Make a radical choice …words and deeds 546
Pray with a purified heart, with lively, persevering faith and boldness
From Forming Intentional Disciples by
Discipleship is that
personal and lived
relationship with Jesus
Christ that leads to the
radical decision to
What does it mean, then, to be a
disciple of Jesus Christ?
It means you do what Jesus did: You love
as he loved. You reach out to the sick,
the disenfranchised, and the poor – both
the spiritually and materially poor. You
bring them the Good News.
From Rebuilt by Michael White and Tom
Disciples are students who are growing to
love God and love others as Jesus
Disciples love God
Disciples love People
Disciples make disciples
What does mission mean?
Anything that comes to mind
Take a minute to reflect and then jot some
ideas in your workbook.
AD GENTES Decree on the Church’s Missionary
Activity – Second Vatican Council, 1965 “The
mission of the Church, therefore, is fulfilled by that
activity which makes her,…fully present to all men or
Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore, and make disciples of all
Mark 16:15 “Go in to the whole world and proclaim the
gospel to every creature.”
Luke 24:46-49 “You are the witnesses of these things,
and [behold] I am sending the promise of my Father
The witness of a Christian life is the first
and irreplaceable form of mission:
Christ, whose mission we continue, is
the “witness” par excellence and the
model of all Christian
Redemptoris Missio 42
Mission is the responsibility of all the
Mission is giving witness to the
difference Christ makes in our lives
Mission is bringing the Gospel to bear on
every aspect of our culture
What is evangelization?
“The specific purpose of this missionary
activity is evangelization…” (AG 6)
“Evangelization is the essential mission
of the Church” (EN14)
EVANGELII NUNTIANDI On Evangelization in the
Modern World – Apostolic Exhortation of Paul VI,
1975 “Evangelization is the essential mission of the
Church” (14) “Thus it is the whole Church that receives
the mission to evangelize, and the work of each
individual member is important….” “The Church is an
evangelizer, but she begins by being evangelized
herself. “ (15) “All Christians are called to this witness
and in this way they can be real evangelizers.” (21)
There is no true evangelization if the name, the
teaching, the life, the promises, the Kingdom and
the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God
are not proclaimed.” (22)
Go and Make Disciples, NCCB, 1992
Evangelization means bringing the Good
News of Jesus into every human
situation and seeking to convert
individuals and society by the power of
the Gospel itself.
Its essence is the proclamation of the
Good News and the response in faith,
both being the work of the Holy Spirit.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
904…To teach in order to lead others to faith is the task of every
preacher and of each believer.
905…Lay people also fulfill their prophetic mission by
evangelization. “that is, the proclamation of Christ by word and the
testimony of life” For lay people, “this evangelization…
acquires a specific property and peculiar efficacy because it is
accomplished in the ordinary circumstance of the world.”
This witness of life however, is not the sole element in the
apostolate; the true apostle is on the lookout for occasions of
announcing Christ by word, either to unbelievers…or to the
The New Evangelization
John Paul II - Redirecting and re-focusing the Church’s efforts on
To peoples, to nations, to cultures
Responsibility of all Believers
Not just foreign missions
Benedict XVI - Calls for a renewed evangelization of an increasingly
June 2010 Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization
October 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization
“Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him
as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now
you have kept him at a distance, step forward.
He will receive you with open arms. If you
have been indifferent, take a risk: you won’t be
disappointed. If following him seems difficult,
don’t be afraid, trust him, be confident that he
is close to you, he is with you and he will give
you the peace you are looking for and the
strength to live as he would have you do.”
Pope Francis I, Easter Vigil, 2013
Mission – to be sent
Discipleship – making the
decision to conform your life to
Evangelization – spreading the
Gospel through how we act and
what we say