Becoming Witnesses of Jesus in Our Lives
Recently, the Pastoral Council members met with the individuals in our parish who are preparing to be fully initiated into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. The members listened as the candidates and elect shared why they have chosen to become Catholic or complete their sacramental initiation. “I’m doing this because I believe Jesus Christ is the son of God,” said one young man. Pastoral Council members were moved by the sincere and penetrating reasons that were given, and, in turn, had the chance to offer what they felt were helpful ways to discern God’s will in one’s life. The answers were thoughtful and rich, ranging from staying close to the sacraments and prayer, to understanding and accepting in faith that there are seasons in your faith life, when things may be more or less clear.
During the reflection, it was hard not to feel that we are, in a sense, standing on holy ground. Responding to God’s call is at the heart of the gospels and is at the root of the Church’s existence. Among all the important activities and ministries in the Church, the mission to go out and baptize defines the most fundamental core of the Church. Sometimes, even amid the most humanitarian endeavors, the Church can lose sight of her supernatural vocation to proclaim, teach, make disciples, be Jesus’ witnesses by remembering Him in the Eucharist, and to love one another.
Easter is the time when the Church traditionally welcomes new members to be baptized. It is a time that helps us recall the significance of our own baptism. This is one of the many gifts of welcoming new members—the chance to be reminded of our own Christian mission. Our mission is to be witnesses of Jesus by our lives, to dialogue with others, proclaim the gospel and call people to conversion, to be present to them in charity, and to form our communities through and by means of the sacraments. If our Christian life seems to be missing something; if it seems to have become an appendage to the many other demands placed upon us or manufactured by us, then perhaps we have lost a sense of this mission. Easter is the perfect time to recapture it.
At Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. May the same spirit that brings new life to all those preparing for baptism, stir the grace of our own rebirth in Jesus.
- Christopher Menzhuber, Director of Faith Formation