These are our “instructions” so to speak. “Go, and make disciples.” They come from the very lips of Jesus; His last words to us, and everyone’s duty to do just that. Over the years, we have lost touch with this reaching out to share the Good News, to make disciples. Pope Francis has spoken often of this challenge that plagues our Church and our parishes everywhere. “When the Church does not come out of herself to evangelize, she becomes self-referential and then gets sick.”
As I have been presenting these past Sundays at Mass, the Diocese of Green Bay, inspired by the leadership of Bishop Ricken, is challenging our parish communities to take to heart the challenges of the New Evangelization Pope St. John Paul II inaugurated many years ago. “Disciples on the Way” is an ongoing invitation from Bishop Ricken for all our par- ishes to embark upon a journey into the New Evangelization to become missionary disciples. Again, “Disciples on the Way” includes these vital elements:
1) Discover Jesus — Encounter ... (Connect)
2) Follow Jesus — Accompany ... (Prayer and Discipleship) 3) Worship Jesus — Community ... (Service/Ministry)
4) Share Jesus — Mission ... (Make Disciples)
Our focus during this month of February has been on the third element above: Worship Jesus: Service. If we truly are Disciples on the Way, who have already encountered Jesus (see item 1 above) which leads us to follow Jesus and accompany him (see item 2 above) that leads us to worship Jesus as a Community of faith, serving and ministering to one another, utilizing our God-given gifts and talents.
A disciple of Jesus is one who not only follows Jesus through on-going prayer and faith formation, but also is in a life-long relationship of service to others.
As your pastor, I am prayerfully inviting you to fully enter with the Diocese and with St. Pius X Parish, to truly become holy, engaged in Christ and in the Church, and live in the Mission of the New Evangelization.
This weekend I ask that you please LINGER after Mass and acquaint yourself with the plentitude of ministries to involve yourself with here at St. Pius. Pray, discern, and be led by the Spirit to immerse yourself in at least one ministry.
God bless – Fr. Jim