The Holy Spirit and the Mission of the Church
When we have something we love, cherish, or are proud of we want to show it off. It could be a driver’s license, car, new shoes, or your prom dress.
Our faith is a gift from God and we are called to share it with others. Confirmation makes “firm” the faith of our Baptism. We receive a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit which enables us to live a life of mission.
- We share our faith because we want the whole world to know Jesus Christ and His love. God calls each of us to be witnesses to the faith in our actions and our words.
- To share, spread, and defend the faith was the last command that Jesus gave us before he ascended into heaven.
Read Matthew 28:16-20: "The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
This is called the Great Commission. When you break down the word “commission”, you can understand what it is that Jesus is calling us to do. “Co” means many or more than one and “missio” means to be sent. God is calling us to be sent out into the world to preach the Good News of the Gospel to all.
- It can be easy to think that the Great Commission is only for priests and missionaries, but it is for all of us!
- “All power in heaven and earth…”
- Jesus has authority. He was given this authority by His Father and He revealed it several times in Scripture. God has imparted this authority to each of us through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. When we share God with others, we are only doing so because God has empowered us to do so.
- “...Go make disciples of all nations….”
- Jesus didn’t tell the disciples to “stay and wait for people to come ask you questions about me.” Instead, he told them to go out and be missionaries.
- We don’t have to travel far to find people who need to hear about Christ’s love and who need you to be Christ to them. Oftentimes God is calling us to love the people in our schools, sports team, and our own families.
- “...and behold I am with you always...”
- As baptized Christians, the Holy Spirit is within us always. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to empower us, give us confidence, and to speak for us in the preaching of the Kingdom.
- It is our duty to turn to the Holy Spirit to ask for strength and courage when we are fearful. The Holy Spirit is with us when we are feeling alone in our mission or defeated.
Practical tips for living out our call to mission
- Continue to learn more about your faith- Youth Group is open to all high school students- not just those in Confirmation. Keep coming to help you learn more about your faith. Ask questions and seek out answers! You can’t share what you don’t know or understand.
- Pray- The most important thing we can do to help spread the faith, is first to know Christ through prayer. True evangelization grows out of an existing relationship with Jesus, and we foster our relationship with Jesus through prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to use you spread the faith.
- Be a witness through your example- The way that we live our lives should give witness to Jesus Christ. Our actions must line up with our words!
- When you speak, do so with kindness and gentleness- When you do speak about your faith, don’t scold or talk down to people. The best evangelization happens in the context of relationships- when you can speak to friends in a respectful, kind, and gentle manner.