All Christians are invited to a “renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 9).
Christ calls all people to himself in his Body, the Church, through the workings of the Holy Spirit, so that we can enter into a personal relationship with God the Father. “In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 120).
Reflective reading, lectio divina, and the study of Scripture will aid in deepening the encounter with Christ. The Sunday homily breaks open the Word of God by stirring the hearts of people, deepening our knowledge of the faith, renewing our participation in the Church and her sacraments, and strengthening us for the
daily challenges of life. By participating in Mass, learning common prayers, and practicing personal and public devotions, Christians appropriate the teachings of the faith into their own lives and are sent forth to witness Christ.
Discipleship involves helping people enter into a personal encounter with Christ through prayer, Scripture, the sacraments, works of mercy, and faith formation.
Questions for Personal Reflection:
- Do I have a relationship with Jesus Christ?
- In what ways do I cultivate this friendship with Jesus and his Church?
- How do I help others grow in their relationship with Christ and the Church?
Questions for Pastoral / Parish Leader Reflection:
- What opportunities does the parish provide to cultivate ongoing encounters with Jesus?
- In what ways does the parish accompany our family, friends, and community through the journey of conversion?
- Are there opportunities that are not in place in our parish ministries that we may need to provide?
This article is an excerpt from Living as Missionary Disciples: A Resource for Evangelization (Washington, DC: USCCB, 2017) 31. Publication no. 7-558. Copyright © 2017, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington DC. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.