- John Collins, CSP
- John Collins, CSP
FLESH MADE WORD
Mission preaching is a call to Catholics to become evangelizers or missionaries. We Catholics may have lost the missionary spirit which Paul V1 reminded us is a constitutive element of the church. If we do not evangelize, we are no longer the Church of Jesus Christ.
In mission preaching I am guided by two quotes. One from the Bishops’ Letter on Evangelization, which states that the first goal of evangelization is to "develop in all Catholics such an enthusiasm for their Faith that living their Faith in Jesus, they freely share it with others" and from 1 Peter "always be prepared to give a reason to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that lies with you. Do this with gentleness and respect".
I center my mission preaching around this question: "Can you describe what happens in those events of your life in which you experience the Presence of God?" When one can describe the experience of God in one's life, one is able "to give a reason for the hope that lies within them".
I suggest to those attending the mission that ordinary, everyday, down-to-earth, sometimes monotonous, and even boring human experience can be the place where the experience of God is manifested to us. Preachers are encouraged to use stories of how ordinary human experience can reveal the Presence of God, if we allow ourselves to be open to the spirit.
The preaching process includes getting the listener in the habit of seeing the Presence of God in the ordinary, which helps them build their own faith story. By giving them an enthusiasm for the Presence of God, they are then free to share that story with others.
Click here for a brochure on The Mission
The Mystery of God
A Conversation with John Collins, CSP
Questions for Reflection
- What is at the heart of Mission preaching? What makes it different than Sunday preaching?
- How do you connect the ordinary day-to-day living with the Gospel message? What do you mean by mjssionary? evangelical?
- How do you experience the Presence of God?
- What do you suggest as ways to assist the Assembly in sharing the Gospel with others?
- What techniques might be helpful for the preacher to develop an “evangelical enthusiasm”?
- What role does humor play in preaching?
- Should ritual be a part of a Mission? Or is Mission preaching just that: preaching with no rituals?
- How might media be used in presenting the Mission, such as visuals, music, props, etc.
- How long should a Mission presentation go?
- Is there a place for handouts (additional information and articles) to increase the fruits of the Mission?