Father Robert Jalbert:
Baptized to be Sent
We’re all on assignment this month—and our mission is to share the Good News of our faith in an extraordinary way. How, you say? Let’s imagine the possibilities.
Pope Francis has declared October an Extraordinary Month of Mission. So the bar is high, but not impossible! All over the world parishes, schools, and small Christian communities are intently focused on their baptismal call to proclaim salvation in Christ.
With his typical missionary zeal, Pope Francis has given us four ways that we can deepen our relationship with God, and in the process, share the joy of our faith with the world. These simple practices, he says, will transform each of us into extraordinary missioners.
- Experience a personal encounter with Christ, living in his Church today. We can do this through the Eucharist, Scripture, and in personal and communal prayer. Remember, October is also the month of the Rosary. With each decade, we remember the promise of our faith, knowing that our Blessed Mother will intercede for us with her Son.
- Imitate the missionary saints and martyrs. Read their stories and be inspired by their good works. I am especially drawn to the missionary examples of Mother Theresa, Dorothy Day, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, and Saint Oscar Romero. But you probably have your own heroes. Spend some time with them and I know you will find ways to be renewed.
- Read the Bible, take time for prayer and spiritual study. These practices begin the journey of missionary formation. They will not only change your life but touch the lives of everyone you meet.
- Practice charity in all you do. Witness Christ’s love with all your heart and—I guarantee it—you will receive more than you give. That was my experience during the years I served the people of Kenya and Tanzania. I was always the one enriched.
“Practice charity in all you do. Witness Christ’s love with all your heart and—I guarantee it—you will receive more than you give.”
As the weeks of October unfold, I hope you think of this moment as the beginning of a spiritual renewal built on love that makes all the weeks to follow extraordinary, too. Being a little more compassionate, helping someone to heal, teaching a young child about the gift of the Eucharist, volunteering at a food pantry… these are just some of the ways we share the treasure of our faith.
Fellow missioners, October is just 31 days. But our relationship with Christ and our Church is forever because we have the promise of eternal life. Each day is an opportunity to love God by sharing the Good News of our faith.
God bless you for being the extraordinary missioner you are. I know October is just the beginning of new blessings for you and for our Church. My prayers are with you.
~ Father Robert Jalbert, M.M.
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