Photo illustration by Phil Younk
Click on the photo for a printable PDF!
We, too, are commissioned to spread Jesus’ Good News
Based on the Gospel of Mark 16:15-20
The Divine Commission. This Sunday’s Gospel tells us about Jesus’ Ascension into heaven to sit at the right hand of his Father and to reign as Lord and King. Jesus had finished the work his Father wanted him to do on earth.
He gives his disciples a “Divine Commission”: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.”
Jesus promised his disciples they would do many wonderful things in his name, such as speaking new languages, driving out demons and healing the sick.
Jesus knew his disciples would be sad and afraid when he left, but he told them he would be with them always. Through the power of the Holy Spirit they would have the grace, strength and courage needed to preach the Good News.
Because Jesus’ disciples wholeheartedly and fearlessly proclaimed the Gospel, we have been given our gift of faith today. For more than 2,000 years, through the apostles and their successors, the church has continued to grow and be spiritually renewed with the help of the Holy Spirit. Helping our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and the bishops to spread the faith, our priests, men and women religious and lay missionaries continue to travel the world to share Jesus’ Good News and love with people.
While we can’t see Jesus physically as his first disciples did, we know Jesus rose from the dead and is alive forever. Jesus is with us always in a different way. No longer limited by space and time as he was while on earth, Jesus is present everywhere throughout the whole universe and in the church, the visible Body of Christ on earth. Jesus continues to care for us, to pour out his love for us and to grant us gifts to continue building up his church.
As descendants of Jesus’ first disciples in faith, we, too, are commissioned to spread Jesus’ Good News by believing and living it. Pope John Paul II called for new evangelization within the church in 2001. And following through on Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement of a special “Year of Faith” – to run Oct. 11, 2012, to Nov. 24, 2013 – Archbishop Listecki is leading archdiocesan-wide efforts to focus on the evangelization of “those who have not heard of Jesus and the Gospel; those who no longer practice the faith; and those who are practicing the faith.”
We are all being called to grow in our faith and to share it!