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Jesus Is Lord: Intentional Discipleship and Commissioning {week 10}

week10Welcome to the Jesus is Lord series! This course offered for adults at St. William Catholic Church in Round Rock, Texas.

If this is your first time visiting this series, I encourage you to take a few moments and read through the series introduction that will give a clear picture of the purpose and content of the Jesus Is Lord course. The introduction post not only outlines the course, but goes over the motivation to share in this class on the internet. 

Today is the LAST CLASS! Last week’s class was about Jesus is Lord of My Sexuality

INTENTIONAL DISCIPLESHIP

Father Dean gave a concluding talk on intentional discipleship and our parish with respect to stewardship and mission, and the New Evangelization.  

He read a snippet from Blessed John Paul II’s Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Ecclesia in America:

How can we fail to emphasize the role which belongs to the Virgin Mary in relation to the pilgrim Church in America journeying towards its encounter with the Lord? Indeed, the Most Blessed Virgin “is linked in a special way to the birth of the Church in the history … of the peoples of America; through Mary they came to encounter the Lord”.(18)

Throughout the continent, from the time of the first evangelization, the presence of the Mother of God has been strongly felt, thanks to the efforts of the missionaries. In their preaching, “the Gospel was proclaimed by presenting the Virgin Mary as its highest realization. From the beginning — invoked as Our Lady of Guadalupe — Mary, by her motherly and merciful figure, was a great sign of the closeness of the Father and of Jesus Christ, with whom she invites us to enter into communion”.(19)

The appearance of Mary to the native Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac in 1531 had a decisive effect on evangelization.(20) Its influence greatly overflows the boundaries of Mexico, spreading to the whole Continent. America, which historically has been, and still is, a melting-pot of peoples, has recognized in the mestiza face of the Virgin of Tepeyac, “in Blessed Mary of Guadalupe, an impressive example of a perfectly inculturated evangelization”.(21) Consequently, not only in Central and South America, but in North America as well, the Virgin of Guadalupe is venerated as Queen of all America.(22)

With the passage of time, pastors and faithful alike have grown increasingly conscious of the role of the Virgin Mary in the evangelization of America. In the prayer composed for the Special Assembly for America of the Synod of Bishops, Holy Mary of Guadalupe is invoked as “Patroness of all America and Star of the first and new evangelization”. In view of this, I welcome with joy the proposal of the Synod Fathers that the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother and Evangelizer of America, be celebrated throughout the continent on December 12.(23) It is my heartfelt hope that she, whose intercession was responsible for strengthening the faith of the first disciples (cf. Jn 2:11), will by her maternal intercession guide the Church in America, obtaining the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as she once did for the early Church (cf.Acts 1:14), so that the new evangelization may yield a splendid flowering of Christian life.

Stewardship – in order to make that transition, it’s a substantial leap going from ownership to stewardship. We live in a capitalistic society…that’s not the paradigm that we should be living by. We are caretakers of the gifts that God has entrusted us to. And we have the freedom to not be incarcerated by all we own that we can do exactly as Christ wants us to.

Father Dean finds himself over the years at St. William using the words intentional disciples more and more and in various contexts, from parishioners to the office staff. And, from that perspective, we want to do things with intentionality. If St. William hires a new position i.e. coordinator for volunteers, we don’t just want to form volunteers, but rather we want to form and sustain them. He believes those in attendance this evening {the room is filled with JIL attendees and elective course attendees who are JIL graduates} are the ripest crop of those who are able to commit themselves intentionally to Christ to use their gifts and talents to benefit our institution, the Catholic Church, not just St. William but the body of Christ.

 

The harvest is great, but the laborers are few – let’s change that.

We don’t want warm bodies to fill tasks, but rather

follow through with intentionality and purpose.

 

This evening we have our volunteer coordinator here – he has created a survey for volunteers and to find ways to play to their gifts and talents, their charisms. How is the best way we can care for these gifts and grow them so that they can flourish?

It is his desire, hope, and prayer that whatever we do as a parish community that we do it with a sense of intentionality. That things don’t happen by accident…let’s desire to do the work of the Church – Go and make disciples of all nations…Jesus’ first and foremost command was to go make disciples.

“We want to improve future semesters. We want that continued desire to encourage or suggest…Father Dean jokes perhaps we can strong arm ONE other person to come and give Jesus Is Lord a try for next semester. Our parish is over 6000 families and continues to grow. We have a great harvest before us. And you are the laborers, not being formed accidentally, but intentionally.”

It’s amazing to Father Dean to be pastor and to sit back and think about how God is working in this community. Definitely in ways he’s never seen before in his 25 years of priesthood. He commends everyone for their dedication and intentionality to be disciples that Christ has asked us to be.

Thank you and encourage others to explore opportunities to grow in their faith and the Kerygma, the Good News of Jesus Christ. 

COMMISSIONING

At this time, Father Uche came up and explains the invitations and their purpose. Attendees are encouraged to prayerfully decide how many invitations they would like to take, no less than one invite and as many as they think would like to come to graduation next week. Attendees walk to the front and take the number of invites they’d like and then form a circle around the entire room. Yes, this is a LOT of people! Father Uche then takes holy water and blesses these invitations and the attendees in their commissioning of bringing the next group of JIL attendees in for the January session. Here are a few pictures from the commissioning.

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PERPETUAL HOMEWORK 

Though the class has now ended, you can continue with daily homework in the form of praying each day read. Reflect on the daily readings or the reflections from One Bread, One Body. You can access them by going to the USCCB’s website OR you can download the Laudate app {available on iPhones and Android}. The One Bread, One Body reflections can be accessed through the Laudate app by going through Daily Readings => Reflections.

For more reflection, click to download Praying with Scripture.

 

CONCLUSION

Prayer of Abandonment

Father,
I abandon myself into Your hands;
do with me what You will.
Whatever You may do, I thank You:
I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only Your will be done in me,
and in all Your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into Your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to You with all the love of my heart,
for I love You, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into Your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for You are my Father.

Charles de Foucauld

 

 

About Martina Kreitzer

Martina is a cradle Catholic, wife to Neil, and mother to seven kiddos here {and three in heaven}– 4/96-1/17. She decided to homeschool the kiddos in 2010 after many years in public schools and is currently transitioning out of homeschooling. She is the creator of Catholic Sistas which focuses on a feminine perspective of the Catholic Faith. The website was the result of an existing camaraderie by the contributors in a Catholic women’s group she created. She is also a Seal of Approval evaluator for the Catholic Writers Guild. Lest you think she spends all her time online, Martina has enjoyed getting out into the community by serving on the Pastoral Council from 2010-2013. She is constantly on the lookout to make her parish as welcoming as the small town she grew up in East Texas. This task is not easy given that St. William is the largest parish in the Austin diocese, serving well over twenty thousand parishioners. She loves Jesus, coffee, bacon, chocolate, photography, more bacon, evangelizing, and the company of those unafraid to use their sense of humor.

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