Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I usually limit myself to the Spirituality Forum and threads having to do with Mary, but reading the Commentary for today’s Gospel readings I am compelled to share this:
Commentary of the day
Blessed John-Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005
Apostolic Letter for the new millennium « Novo millennio ineunte », §29 (trans. © Libreria Editrice Vaticana)
« The Lord Jesus… was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them» (Mk 16,19-20)
“I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28,20). This assurance, dear brothers and sisters, has accompanied the Church for two thousand years… From it we must gain new impetus in Christian living, making it the force which inspires our journey of faith. Conscious of the Risen Lord’s presence among us, we ask ourselves today the same question put to Peter in Jerusalem immediately after his Pentecost speech: “What must we do?” (Acts 2,37).
We put the question with trusting optimism, but without underestimating the problems we face. We are certainly not seduced by the naive expectation that, faced with the great challenges of our time, we shall find some magic formula. No, we shall not be saved by a formula but by a Person, and the assurance which he gives us: “I am with you!”
It is not therefore a matter of inventing a new program. The program already exists: it is the plan found in the Gospel and in the living Tradition; it is the same as ever. Ultimately, it has its center in Christ himself, who is to be known, loved and imitated, so that in him we may live the life of the Trinity, and with him transform history until its fulfillment in the heavenly Jerusalem… It must be translated into pastoral initiatives adapted to the circumstances of each community… It is in the local churches that the specific features of a detailed pastoral plan can be identified… which will enable the proclamation of Christ to reach people, mold communities, and have a deep and incisive influence in bringing Gospel values to bear in society and culture… What awaits us therefore is an exciting work of pastoral revitalization — a work involving all of us.
As some of you know my husband and I continue seeking to serve as lay persons, “consecrated by our Baptism” in the Catholic Church. We have a website HERE and two Blogs: one for believers HERE and one for non-believers inspired by Pope Emeritus’ initiative “Court of the Gentiles” which can be read HERE
Our focus has been for some years now on “Adult Formation” which is so sorely lacking especially on the parish level. As I recently shared with another parishioner, “so many of our parish activities are tuned inward to serve ourselves” and the going forward out to others in bringing the Gospel is all but ignored. What is is going to take to rouse the “drowsy disciples” as Pope Emeritus wrote about in Vol. 2 of Jesus of Nazareth? What will it take to awake the Catholic Church in the world and for us in the USA? Prayer of course but prayer and faith which moves us to seek those who do not know Christ and to share with them the Good News. Please, let us all begin again to ask ourselves, “What must we do?” in our own hearts and in our own parishes.