Mission is the very heart of evangelization. It permeates all that we do as a Church, as a parish, and as missionary disciples of Jesus Christ. The five key features of an evangelizing parish—Sunday, Welcome, Belonging, and Witness— all matter, because Mission matters! Our mission is to share in the one mission of Christ.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus affirms our call to share in his mission. In Chapter 15, Jesus proclaims, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you,’’ and in Chapter 17 he says, “As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.’’ In his ministry, Jesus consistently went beyond boundaries, in love and mercy, showing us the Father.
Like Jesus, we are loved by the Father and sent to those who most need God’s healing word, authentic witness, and faith-filled actions of mercy, charity, and justice.
In Pope Francis’ document The Joy of the Gospel, the Holy Father writes that he dreams of a “missionary impulse” that can transform everything for the evangelization of today’s world: the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures.
Mission matters because:
- through parish outreach, people encounter Christ, and come to know redemption and liberation from all that oppresses;
- mission-directed parishes give public witness to gospel values and become agents of change in society;
- each one of us has been given talents and strengths by God;
- through word and deed, we bridge distances and touch the suffering flesh of Christ
Jesus said, “For this purpose I have come” and we are called to continue his work, spreading the Gospel in the world today. Each one of us is called to “fan into a flame” the gifts we have received.
How will you make sure that "Mission Matters" in your life and parish?