October 2019: A Missionary “Spring” in the Church

by Mr. David A Lugo, SJ

Pope’s Prayer Intention: In this extraordinary missionary month, let us pray that the Holy Spirit engender a new missionary spring in the Church.

On the Feast of the Ascension, before he ascended to the right hand of God the Father, Jesus said to his disciples: “[Y]ou will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The end of Jesus’ public ministry and earthly life, therefore, is immediately followed by the descent of the Holy Spirit and the missionary work of the Church. Throughout the ages, Christian disciples have answered this call to witness to Christ by going throughout the world to preach the Gospel in foreign lands. This missionary zeal, however, has never been possible without the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Think of Peter, for example, and how the power of the Holy Spirit that he received at Pentecost transformed him from a humble fisherman to the bold preacher and evangelist of the early Church.

Many examples throughout the ages follow this pattern of receiving the Holy Spirit and being sent on mission. By our initiation into the Church, we Christians have been given the gifts of the Holy Spirit to inspire our missionary work in the world. As we consider the state of the world today, a springtime of evangelization is budding all around us. On every continent, new ecclesial movements and committed disciples are engaging the world and transforming it through their witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Since the mission of every Christian is to work for the coming of the Kingdom until Christ returns in glory, may we be open to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit who calls us and emboldens us in our labour.