MOSAIC Spring 2017 - Page 6

Why not explicitly ask the Holy Spirit every day to make you an evangelist? I have found this prayer to always bear fruit: “Holy Spirit, please make me an evangelist. Jesus, please send me people.” One day, after praying this prayer, I met a man who was looking for cans in the garbage. We began to talk. Within three minutes, he sincerely asked, and intently listened to, what the Catholic faith believed about the Eucharist. He was raised Catholic but was away from the faith and didn’t know what the Eucharist is. By God’s grace, he seemed truly intent at the end of the conversation to head back to church on the coming Sunday. Jesus truly meets us where we’re at—and wants to meet others where they are through us. 4 Missionary Disciples: “No Longer I” Prior to being named the Archbishop of Guam, Archbishop Michael Byrnes served as an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Detroit. In a talk given at the Lay Ecclesial Convocation in Detroit in the fall of 2016, Archbishop Byrnes spoke that learning to become an “everyday evangelist” is like learning how to fish—there’s going to be some awkward moments. Regaling the audience with hilarious stories of his own fishing woes on an Alas- kan fishing trip, the Archbishop brought home a clear point in his talk that makes all of the awkward moments totally worth the effort. Archbishop Byrnes said, “Jesus wants to encounter the people around you through you.” Ponder those words for a few moments. They are truly life-changing if we take them to heart. How would you respond if Jesus ap- peared and spoke right to you: “I want to live through you today.” And yet, this is our reality as disciples of Jesus! We truly share in the life of Jesus. As St. Paul famous- ly expressed it, “Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20). It is through cultivating our intimate union with Jesus that evangelization (an- nouncing the Good News of God’s love made present to us in the person of Jesus) begins to flow forth with delight, for we are Sacred Heart Major Seminary | Mosaic | Spring 2017 “Please Make Me an Evangelist” missionary disciple is the daily renewal that comes with giving your whole heart (which is to say your whole life) to Jesus without any compromises. Let us beg for the grace to do this in all authenticity every day. If we do so, we can be sure we’ll be bearing the fruit of joy in the Lord that is both the Father’s glory and some of the most potent evangelization bait he provides! I’ll never forget a dear cashier at the gro- cery store saying, “Well you’re in a good mood today,” and then rejoicing when I told her the reason why was Jesus. Giving your whole heart to Jesus every day al- lows us to experience what Pope Francis expressed in the introduction to The Joy of the Gospel, “With Christ joy is constantly born anew.” A heart wholly given over to God is a cheerful heart, and as the Book of Proverbs tells us, “A glad heart lights up the face” (Prv 15:13a). That’s not just a nice countenance the Word of God is talking about, that’s the Light of the World. sharing in the will of Jesus and the love of his Sacred Heart that desires the salvation of all. As Pope Francis puts it, “In union with Jesus, we seek what he seeks and we love what he loves, in the end, what we are seeking is the glory of the Father” (EG, no. 267). The reality of what God revealed through St. Paul (that Jesus lives in his dis- ciples) is brought about in us through the gift of the Holy Spirit given at baptism. As the Church teaches us, “The One whom the Father has sent into our hearts, the Spirit of his Son, is truly God. Consub- stantial [meaning one with and of the same substance] with the Father and the Son, the Spirit is inseparable from them, in both the inner life of the Trinity and his gift of love for the world” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 689). How to Keep the Fervor In The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis emphasizes that it is the Holy Spirit who continues to shape our lives as missionary