Word To Life
Sunday Scripture Readings, June 5, 2011
By Jean Denton
Catholic News Service
June 5, Ascension of the Lord
Cycle A Readings:
1) Acts 1:1-11
Psalm 47:2-3, 6-9
2) Ephesians 1:17-23
Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20
While visiting with student leaders of Catholic campus ministry at Virginia Tech University a couple of months ago, I saw how gratified they were by the wide participation of hundreds of young adults in their faith community.
Here, they told me earnestly, there is something for everyone in sharing the work of Christ. The diverse interests and gifts of every person have a place in the ministry of their Newman community, explained student campus minister Elise Rokisky.
Indeed, after each Mass, ministry leaders hung around outside the campus chapel sharing their personal enthusiasm for some program or project and inviting other students, one on one, to join them in the effort.
The college ministers were particularly excited about their alternative spring break offerings, not only because the number of trips and participants seemed to be growing exponentially, but because they were drawing students from outside their Catholic community. More importantly, these faith-infused service trips unfailingly resulted in deep spiritual transformation among the young adults involved.
Elise said other campus groups planning similar trips come to Newman leaders for advice "because they want what we have." She pointed out that this "what we have" is a desire to live and share Jesus' Gospel, and the Newman community continues to grow and thrive as students experience conversion through their mission work.
"We are not task driven," Elise explained. "Before beginning anything, we ask what are the needs; what are the gifts we have; and what do we offer, so we make sure we are serving one another. We encourage servant leadership, and in this way we are portraying the body of Christ."
In celebrating Jesus' ascension, this weekend's readings bear the message that his mission to the world must be carried on by his disciples. Young adults in campus ministry understand well the call to "go and make disciples" because the membership of their faith community turns over about every four years. They have a strong sense of the need for constant regeneration and nurture of the body of Christ for the sake of his continuing ministry.
May we all take a lesson from them.
In your experience, where have you witnessed the need for continuously calling and encouraging new disciples? How do you, personally, go and make disciples?
SCRIPTURE TO BE ILLUSTRATED:
"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" (Matthew 28:19-20).
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