Mission Statement & Handbook for Christians Part 1

I can remember a time probably when I was a young priest, when having a “Mission Statement” was almost mandatory for almost every parish committee, every parish and organization within it. St. Luke presents in this weekend’s Gospel what was probably the early Church’s Mission Statement and a list of practical ways to implement it. As Jesus was preparing seventy-two others to begin their journey of spreading the Good News, he starts off by giving them their marching orders. It was what He both expected them to follow, and if faithful to them it would sustain them in their efforts. These were given to them and remain in effect for all of us.
1.The world still needs to have the gospel message, that was first proclaimed over 2000 years ago, presented as if Jesus physically lived yesterday. The message of Christianity needs to be continually broadcast loud and clear.
2. Jesus wants us to be sure to speak as He spoke and even to use the same words that He used. An example that He gives is to address people like this: “Peace be with you.”
3. When doubt or frustration may seem to be overtaking you, He suggests that we pray to the ‘Lord of the Harvest’. If the mission seems too overwhelming for you, then ask God for some assistance. Disciples should remember that they are never alone. He sent them out two-by-two…we may not have that luxury, but we aren’t expected to do it all by ourselves.
4. We need to recall that it’s Jesus that sends us forth, therefore we will always have His protection guiding us. He sends us forth but always keeps a careful eye on us.
5. A warning was given, and still applies to us, that there are ‘wolves’ who want to stop our efforts, delay our mission, and even silence our voices. Again, as the Shepherd…He will be there for us especially in these trying times
Jesus is being proactive when it comes to His followers. He makes sure that the commitment we make will not be in anyway thwarted. [Part 2, next week] When the wolves come, stay close.