Wednesday 26th march 2014
We Don’t live in a perfect world. In a perfect world the Pope would publish an encyclical or an Apostolic Exortation and we would be falling over ourselves to get one, to read it, digest it and let our lives be changed by it. Our clergy would be ever eager to teach onit, preach about it and share its riches and treasures with others. The truth is that other pressing and more urgent matters, the day to day, if you like, prevent us from enjoying such clarify and wisdom. In evangelii Gaudium we have a blueprint for mission, a map to help us live our Christian lives as joyful, convinced and enthusiastic evangelizers and missioners.
Lord may I be a wise and diligent disciple and read and study the teaching of Pope Francis and seek the grace of God for reform, renewal and change, first in my own life and then for my parish and the wider church.
Thursday 27th March 2014
Pope Francis has a dream. He dreams of what he calls, the missionary option becoming embedded deeply and richly in our lives and in our parishes. For him this is an impulse, an energy, a dynamism and a love for God which is capable, in his own words, of transforming everything…. and channelled for evangelization. He is calling us to be utterly dedicated to a new mission-orientated vision. Furthermore he wants to make this mission to be inclusive, welcoming and open to all people thus protecting ourselves and our parishes from becoming too inward looking self -preserving and introverted. All renewal in the Church must have mission as its goal if it is not to fall prey to a kind of ecclesial introversion (Pope John Paul 11)
Lord protect and preserve us from being to introspective, help us to see the parish as a living practical witness of Christ where the thirsty come to drink and the hungry come to be fed.
Friday 28th march 2014
‘We have always done it this way’ is the refrain of a certain resistance and sometimes a stubbornness to change or renewal both in our lives and in our parish. Or, we haven’t done anything like this before being another manifestation.. The Spirit however is always working in us to get us to move outside of our comfort zone and reach out to those in our midst. We must pray for our clergy, Bishops, priests, and deacons, because they are called to walk in the power of the Spirit and encourage and facilitate new initiatives which rise up to grow and enrich the church. It requires wisdom, tact, patience and not a little courage from our church leaders to foster the missionary option being urged and encouraged by Pope Francis.
Lord, burn in my heart a love for Christ and his Church, I pray and intercede for those called to shepherd God;s people that they may lead with wisdom, patience and courage.
Saturday 29th march 2014.
Do you think of yourself as a missionary? Most of us don’t. We tend to think of missionaries as those who have been sent to other countries and work overseas. Pope Francis is urging that we think of ourselves as missionaries and put things, as he puts it, in a missionary key. What does this mean on a practical and daily basis? It means that everywhere we go – the shops, the doctors, on holiday, the garage, the parish – we have a way of thinking and acting which is open to being led or guided by the Spirit so that we bear witness to the fragrant aroma of Christ. ‘See how those Christians love one another’.
‘See how much joy they have’. See how they serve and care for others’.
Lord, grant me the grace to understand how attractive and appealing the Gospel is and how it’s proclamation and witness wins hearts and minds.