‘Rejoice and Be Glad’
by Monsignor Keith Barltrop of Bayswater Parish, focuses on the joy of being a missionary disciple.
In ‘Rejoice and Be Glad’ Monsignor Keith explores the themes of joyful evangelisation of recent Popes, bringing a new sense of missionary purpose to small communities in parishes. Your parish may already have well-established small communities and faith-sharing groups. “Rejoice and be Glad” invites us through listening, discussion and prayer, to re-discover a profound and personal sense of being loved and of being called to love, as joyful missionary disciples of Jesus Christ.
Faith-sharing discussion groups present an opportunity to imitate Jesus’ own approach to growing missionary disciples. Jesus did not take on his mission alone, but brought together his twelve disciples, with whom he shared his mission, teaching them and forming them as missionaries to take the Good News to the whole world. This model has stood the test of time: we might think of St Francis of Assisi and his band of brothers, or Mother Teresa and her sisters with their distinctive habits who serve the poor across the world. And just as the disciples in their ongoing mission grew as a community, and set up the new faith communities of the early Church, so too can we in our ongoing mission, form small communities within the parish and under the guidance of the parish priest to offer a practical environment for friendship and support, not just for us as missionary disciples, but also as individuals with our own gifts to share and needs to meet.
Pope Francis, in Gaudete et Exsultate highlights the importance of such communities: ‘Growth in holiness is a journey in community, side by side with others.’
Rejoice and be Glad is available online
and in hard copy (£3 each) from Agency for Evangelisation, Diocese of Westminster.
Deacon Adrian Cullen