“…how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
Just a few weeks ago, I met with our parish staff and spent the afternoon together in prayer and discernment of what our Parish Mission and Vision looks like for the days ahead. I think it is extremely important to know the vision and mission before you take one step because if you don’t know the vision and mission you don’t know where you are going. The reason why people followed Jesus is because he was on mission. He knew where he was going and what he was about. Because of that, he was able to invite others to join in on that journey. “Come follow me”—He says over and over again. If he was stagnant, no one would have taken a step. But he was always moving forward toward the kingdom of God. It is because of that that people followed and longed to be with Jesus.
For our Parish Mission and Vision, I chose to build upon what the parish used during the Memorare Center development: St. Francis de Sales Parish: “Be faith-filled. Be of Service. Be Devout.” These phrases build upon the life and writings of St. Francis de Sales and help to provide three very good focuses for living out the Christian life. In the Gospel, Jesus encourages us pray to the Holy Spirit and ask the Father in heaven to help us, bless us and guide us with the expectation that he will respond with great love and generosity. During our mission and vision planning time, we asked the Holy Spirit to help us share words that would deepen our understanding of these three ways of Christian living. I would like to share the words the Holy Spirit blessed us with:
What words come to your mind when you ask the Holy Spirit about our call to “Be Faith-filled. Be of Service. Be Devout? If you have any ideas, let me know. Thanks for sharing the wisdom of the Spirit with us. After we brainstormed with the Holy Spirit, we then looked at the practical ways in which we lived out these realities at the parish and the ways that we lacked in living these out. It was a very fruitful time. Please pray that our mission can be further formed and then lived out so that we can truly build the kingdom of God on earth!
Let’s build the mission and kingdom together,