Pope Francis’ prayer intention for December is “Evangelization: In the Service of the Transmission of Faith”…That people, who are involved in the service and transmission of faith, may find, in their dialogue with culture, a language suited to the conditions of the present time.
Pope Francis’ prayer intention is promoted throughout the world by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
The network offers a monthly reflection to accompany the prayer intention. This month’s reflection is provided by Fr. Christopher Krall. Christopher Krall, S.J. is a priest and doctoral student at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. He is studying theology and neuroscience.
The last instruction given at every Mass is a missioning to the people of God to “Go in peace glorifying the Lord by your life.” By prayerfully and actively participating in the Mass, we encounter the Lord through the Eucharist and, moreover, tradition tells us that we enter the one eternal heavenly liturgy with all the angels and saints in one chorus of exultant praise of God. Such a transformative experience gives rise to knowledge of God borne of religious love, a fundamental definition of the theological virtue of faith. Faith, however, isn’t knowledge to be mused about or held to for private use. Rather, faith is a virtue of mission. Faith takes flight and is vivified when shared, spread, given away. The Mass sends us out into the world to share the knowledge received in the presence of God. St. Peter, at the transfiguration, was corrected by Jesus in that he could not stay on top of that mountain with Jesus. Rather, they had to descend and carry out the mission of spreading the knowledge of God gained through the divine encounter. The same applies to us at the end of Mass.
This month, as we prepare for the coming of the Lord into our world, God the Father sends His Son out of love, a sharing of His very self with us; let us consider the ways in which the Christian mission is about imitating the love of the Father. If our faith is authentic and rooted in love, then we are to share this faith by glorifying the Lord through our lives, in our homes, communities, workplaces, with our culture, and throughout the world.
Points for Meditation
What is the basis of my faith in God? What talents do I have that can be shared to transmit faith and glorify the Lord? What is a place or a person that I encounter lacking in faith and longing for the knowledge and love of our God?