There are few things more frustrating than being told to do something but knowing, deep down, that you aren’t adequately prepared. Things we long to accomplish can be left undone and untried because of a lack of confidence, training, experience, courage, skills or intelligence. Occasionally, strength of will or holy obedience can help us initiate action toward an important or commissioned goal, but we are reminded about all that we lack, causing discouragement and stagnation to replace energy and hope.
We know that making disciples is intrinsic to the Church’s deepest identity. We know our baptism has grafted us into the body of Christ and therefore made us responsible to help fulfill his mission to seek and save the lost. We know that Jesus’ death and resurrection have won the war over sin and death, and the good news of the Gospel has the power to transform hearts and lead people from darkness to light.
And yet, knowledge and belief are not enough.
We need power.
‘The Promise of the Father’
Think about the first disciples. These men and women experienced the best catechesis, faith formation and liturgical prep in the history of the Church. Their pastor, DRE, director of evangelization and head liturgist was Jesus Christ. He taught, fed, served, astounded, confounded, inspired and ultimately commissioned them to go and do likewise.
Even having received and experienced so much, these disciples were given a task beyond their capacity. Therefore, Jesus instructed them “not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for ‘the promise of the Fatherabout which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ … But you 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 1:4-5,8)
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