Christus Vivit 253-254: Being There For Others

Let’s keep going with Pope Francis on “Vocation.” Specifically, we’ll look at the notion of “Being there for others.”

253. I would now like to speak of vocation in the strict sense, as a call to missionary service to others. The Lord calls us to share in his work of creation and to contribute to the common good by using the gifts we have received.

The Holy Father uses the adjective “missionary” in the broadest sense. At root, he refers to the mission bestowed on believers at the Ascension. (See especially Matthew 28:19-20 and  Mark 16:15.) We are talking about preaching the Gospel. Not for our own sake, but for the graced experience of others within our reach.

Pope Francis cites his document on the joy of the Gospel:

254. This missionary vocation thus has to do with service. For our life on earth reaches full stature when it becomes an offering. Here I would repeat that “the mission of being in the heart of the people is not just a part of my life or a badge I can take off; it is not an ‘extra’ or just another moment in life. Instead, it is something I cannot uproot from my being without destroying my very self. I am a mission on this earth; that is the reason why I am here in this world”.[Evangelii Gaudium 273] It follows that every form of pastoral activity, formation and spirituality should be seen in the light of our Christian vocation.

What does this mean? We ask ourselves: does the music I play in church, the food I serve to the poor, the minds I teach, the people I mentor, anything I do–is it done with an eye on spreading the Good News of Jesus, his friendship, his compassion, his healing, his accompaniment? Do we exemplify the Lord’s virtues in our lives? Primarily, we are not doing this under the duress of our own salvation, but we are living the Gospel so as to cast the widest net possible into the ocean of humankind. And doing it as Jesus did, with authentic love and regard for every person.

Any thoughts on this?

If you want to refer to the full Apostolic Exhortation check this link at the Vatican site. The text in color is © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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