Reading time: 4 minutes
Reclaiming Evangelization’s second speaker makes a moving call to seek out the lost ‘treasure’ of those outside the church
The Church today has the same mission and spiritual power as it did in the days of the apostles when the first event of Pentecost brought them out of “confinement” into the upper room and into the streets to proclaim the Good news. Mary Healy told local Catholics last week.
In the second online lecture in the Reclaiming Evangelization series by the Sydney Evangelism Center Parish Renewal Team, Dr Healy took his audience back to the beginnings of the church as described in the New Testament and explained that every baptized person is included in Jesus. ‘ great commission to go and make disciples.
“In particular, the Acts of the Apostles…were not written to give us ancient history, or to tell us entertaining stories about the apostles. It was written to be the model for the life and mission of the church today,” she said.
The accounts of spiritual and physical healings in the New Testament show that the Good News is effective in people’s lives, which is still the case today, Dr. Healy explained. “Sometimes we proclaim the gospel as if it were a powerless message, but the gospel is unlike any other message because it has the power to actually accomplish what it says,” said she declared.
More than 150 people participated in the live online event on February 12 titled “Why Make Disciples?” What Scripture Tells Us About Calling and Making Disciples’ which also included a [email protected] and small group discussions.
“We are so grateful to Dr Healy for giving us his time and hopeful insights into our series on reclaiming evangelism,” said Daniel Ang, director of the Sydney Center for Evangelism.
“Amid the many challenges we may face as a Church today, Dr. Healy powerfully reminded us of that bold first faith of the Apostolic Church, empowered by the Holy Spirit to share the mystery of Jesus with the world.
“I was particularly struck by his picture of those early apostles as they emerged from their proverbial ‘enclosure’ in the Upper Room, were ‘clothed’ by the Spirit and then, relying on the power of God, were able to do more than they perhaps could have imagined. It was the hope of the apostles in Christ that galvanized their commitment to “go” and train others, and Dr. Healy renewed us in this same hope for our mission today.”
SCE Parish Renewal Leader Elizabeth Arblaster said, “This was an important conference because in our culture we are swimming in an unconscious ‘tyranny of relativism’ that Pope Benedict spoke of.
“In this, we Catholics can feel that sharing our good news is a kind of horrible imposition. But Dr. Healy reminded us that this is not what we see in the New Testament.
“Jesus was sent by the Father to preach the good news by word and deed and he founded the Church and sent his followers to continue this, including us today.
Bishop Barron reignites Sydney’s enthusiasm for evangelism
“In this way, Dr. Healy reminded us that the real renewal in our parishes is to come back to our tradition and claim who Jesus said we were, what he called us to do and the many gifts that God gave us to do it.
Parish administrator for St Ambrose Parish in Concord West, Fr Chaminda Wanigasena, said he found the conference inspiring and educational as the parish prepares to launch its first Alpha pilot project. “It has encouraged me in my own ministry as a priest to spend more time reaching out to people who can be baptized but who are far from the faith,” he said.
All Saints Church Liverpool parishioner Abboud (Abbott) Fattal said he would recommend church groups gather together to watch the recording of the event. Some of Dr. Healy’s observations struck him, such as his insistence on the need for prayer and spiritual preparation.
“I was surprised by the idea that what Jesus read from the prophet Isaiah about his ministry was essentially his own mission statement, and that God gave each of us a mission statement,” he said. -he declares.
“Dr Healy made the connection very clear, we are the same church today that prayed with Mary for the coming of the Holy Spirit” – parishioner denis mcnamara
Another attendee, Denis McNamara, also hoped people would watch the speech in church groups. “Dr Healy made the connection very clear, we are the same church today that prayed with Mary for the coming of the Holy Spirit,” he said.
“The successor of the Apostles in our community has given us this opportunity to learn and be inspired. Who could you watch this conversation with in your ward? »
Another participant said that Dr. Healy had clearly established the connection between Scripture and evangelism for ordinary Catholics. “The reference to the confinement of the apostles in the upper room at Pentecost and the new outpouring of the Holy Spirit raises a question: is this really what we need now? Are we fearful and uncertain – is this the real problem behind our reluctance to come out to make disciples?
“Dr. Healy gave us the cure in Acts 4: they prayed not for safety, but for boldness and an injection of the Holy Spirit.”
The series was launched by a conference and [email protected] with US Catholic media evangelist Bishop Robert Barron last November. The series aims to inspire and empower parishes in their evangelism and renewal efforts.
Renowned retreat director and author Fr Jacques Philippe will address Catholics in Sydney via zoom on March 23 from 7 p.m. His topic will be “Can We Make Disciples Today?” Evangelize with the Holy Spirit’.
Watch Dr. Mary Healy’s speech and register for Reclaiming Evangelization events at www.gomakedisciples.org.au/resources