In October, we in the Diocese of Lansing were blessed to be part of an assembly for the New Evangelization. We were energized by our speakers, and filled with the Holy Spirit in our prayer. If you were unable to attend this wonderful event, I encourage you to visit the website (dioceseoflansing.org/2016-assembly-highlights) and participate in it digitally with your brothers and sisters in Christ. I hope you will find the content there inspiring as you undertake the joyful task of evangelization — this is our call, and was given to us at the moment of our baptism.
I am certain that all of you reading this magazine believe that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit, and that God raised Jesus from the dead. That is the heart of our faith, and that is what fills our hearts. What are we going to do with that full heart? It calls for confession with our mouths and so I call on you to confess that Jesus is Lord!
There is no distinction among us. We are all under the same grace which enriches all who call upon the Lord. How will others hear in order to believe, in order to be invited back unless we proclaim that Jesus is Lord? As we know, some have wandered away and some have not heeded the good news. Many of those people may be our friends and family members, whom we will be seeing during the Christmas season. When we gather with them, we need to be gentle in our words, and kind in our actions — proclaiming through both that Jesus is Lord.
In the Gospel of John, we hear Jesus thank his Heavenly Father that he was sent to us. Then Jesus sends out his apostles; he consecrates them in truth. He prays not only for them, but all those who will hear them preach the Good News. The world will believe because Jesus is in us, and the world will see it, and the world will thus believe that our lives underline our words as we say, Jesus is Lord!
My sisters and brothers, as you watch the video of our assembly and as you read the Scripture, imbibe the presence of the Holy Spirit and be emboldened to reach out to our sisters and brothers. We need them in order to be fully the Church we are called to be.
St. Paul tells us that our voice will go forth to all the earth, and our words to the end of the world. But we can do this only if what fills our hearts bursts forth in praise as we announce: Jesus is Lord!
God bless you all.