by Deacon Adrian Cullen, Evangelisation Coordinator
Evangelisation is first and foremost about an encounter with Jesus Christ. For many who passed through Trafalgar Square on Pentecost Sunday, it would have been just that: an encounter, maybe for the first time, through his disciples, with Jesus Christ, as thousands of Christians gathered to celebrate the climax of Thy Kingdom Come.
The event was just one of many around the country and the world, celebrating the global wave of prayer for evangelisation, between Ascension and Pentecost. The afternoon festival in Trafalgar Square included, on the main stage, music, choirs and prayers, while around the Square there were tents exhibiting and involving visitors in a wide variety of different traditions of the Church.
Westminster, Brentwood and Southwark Dioceses, working with the Mission Office at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference and with local parishes and organisations, set up three tents representing particular Catholic Traditions: Corpus Christi Parish in Covent Garden presented an ‘Encounter with Jesus through the Blessed Sacrament’, as it led visitors in Adoration and, towards the end of the afternoon, Benediction; the Dowry of Mary Tour brought an ‘Encounter with Jesus through Mary’, bringing along the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, and leading visitors in praying the Rosary throughout the afternoon; and a third tent, supported generously by local priests, enabled visitors to ‘Encounter Jesus through conversation and confession’.
A truly ecumenical event, as was another major event at St Albans Cathedral later that day, the afternoon in Trafalgar Square ended with a service led by leaders of all local denominations, including Cardinal Vincent. He spoke of how Thy Kingdom Come reminds us that the Holy Spirit is constantly at work. He said that even in a barren landscape where there are no rivers visible, trees stay green because they have deep roots that reach down to underground streams. Likewise, if we have deep roots through keeping God’s commandments, we are able to reach down to an underground spring which is the Holy Spirit.
What better time of year than the summer months, when trees stay green no matter how hot it gets as they reach down to hidden streams, to be reminded that through our deep roots of faith, we are constantly being refreshed by the Holy Spirit, enabling us to reach out to others, so they too can encounter Jesus Christ.
For video footage of Trafalgar Square and other events see www.thykingdomcome.global