Greetings dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, As people of the Renewal, we are called to actively spread God’s Word and Love to make a positive difference in the world, in our country, our city, our parish, our prayer group, our family and neighborhood. Let us use the words of Jesus from the Bible for inspiration to bring about a change in the world today. The Gospel of Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations….” This year, World Mission Sunday falls on 20th Oct. Instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1926; the Church encourages Prayers, Co-operation and Help for the Missions. On this day, the Church reminds all the lay faithful about the fundamental missionary character of every baptized individual. The message of Pope Francis for World Mission Sunday in 2018 was “Together with the young, let us bring the Gospel to all.” Indeed today we have a big and important mission in the Archdioceses of Bombay and we need to work with the youth (the YU4C, DYC, DBYS, Jesus Youth, etc.) to give Jesus to all.
“I Am a Mission” and that is why God has created me, so I MUST continue to do the finished work that Jesus handed over to His disciples. “We are not in this world by our own choice,” and hence, there is “an initiative that precedes us and makes us exist.” Each one of us is called to reflect on the fact that ‘I am a mission on this Earth.” “Every Man, Woman, and Youth is a mission.” Therefore, we must “hold outpromise for our future and give direction to our lives.”
We are members of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Mumbai and we have a special MISSION for the year 2019-2022. Keeping this in mind, the English Council along with Fr. Michael D’cunha, our Spiritual Director, met for two days in prayer and discernment, and waited upon the Lord for a MISSION for the CCR of Mumbai. St. Paul in Colossians 2:7 tells us, “Walk in Christ, be rooted and built in Him.” However, to be rooted and built in Christ one must first go through the process of Formation, Mentoring and Witnessing.
1. Formation: To be formed spiritually means to engage in specific practices and disciplines with one clear goal: to draw nearer to God in Christ and focus less on oneself. St. Richard of Chichester, a 13th-century English Bishop, once reflected on such practices. "Day by day," he said, "three things I pray: to see thee more clearly, to love thee more dearly, and to follow thee more nearly." Spiritual formation is a process that sharpens our attentiveness to God and helps us to be more and more like Jesus. These practices are shaped by our temperament and personality type. The five facets of spiritual formation, then, are: Reflective Reading, Active Repentance, Total Stewardship, Penetrating Prayer and Community Accountability
2. Mentoring: There are many examples of spiritual mentors in the Bible. While the word mentor is not used in the pages of Scripture, the concept of a mentor is evident in the example of Christ and His disciples, who became mentors to the people they taught and preached to. A spiritual mentoring, relationship or discipleship is not a program like an apprenticeship, where the apprentice learns a skill from the teacher. Spiritual mentoring is largely about molding a mature Christian life and to be there for the person when questions arise. This does not mean that the teacher is perfect, but that he has more knowledge and experience with the Word of God and is seeking to live a victorious Christian life. As you consider mentoring someone who is new to the Christian life, use these principles as guidelines in this important relationship.
1. A Spiritual Mentor Teaches. 2. A Spiritual Mentor is an Example. 3. A Spiritual Mentor Prays for the Disciple. 4. A Spiritual Mentor Encourages Spiritual Growth. 5. A Spiritual Mentor Moulds Them to Mould Others.
3. Witnessing: After having gone through Formation and Mentoring, we must go out and tell others about what we have received and witnessed. Before Jesus departed to His heavenly throne to take His position as Lord and Christ, He spent a final time with His eleven disciples. The last command He gave them was this: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing...” (Matthew 28:19-20). These last words of Jesus to His disciples were of utmost importance to Him, and should be to us as well. Jesus commands us to tell others about Him. You may ask, "Why me? Aren't there others more equipped to do that? I am not a preacher; I do not know what to say." And that is why Formation and Mentoring comes before Witnessing. The most essential reasons why we must tell others about Him are:
1. This is His command. 2. An Evangelizer must have a sensitive heart i.e., The fruit of the Spirit) 3. An active and lived Faith 4. Perseveres (Lives victoriously) - through trials and hardships and finally 5. Is brave to ‘Launch out into the deep’ (Lk 5:4)
So let our mission be Formation, Mentoring and Witnessing as we strive to build our prayer groups in the Archdioceses of Bombay. God Bless, Patrick Corda