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In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God

have become missionary disciples (cf. Mt 28:19). All the baptized,

whatever their position in the Church or their level of instruction in

the faith, are agents of evangelization, and it would be insufficient to

envisage a plan of evangelization to be carried out by professionals

while the rest of the faithful would simply be passive recipients. The

new evangelization calls for personal involvement on the part of

each of the baptized. Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to

be actively engaged in evangelization; indeed, anyone who has truly

experienced God’s saving love does not need much time or lengthy

training to go out and proclaim that love. Every Christian is a mis-

sionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God

in Christ Jesus: we no longer say that we are “disciples” and “mission-

aries,” but rather that we are always “missionary disciples.”


The Mass is essential to nourish and form missionary disciples. The



comes from the Latin word


and carries within it the mis-

sion with which we are entrusted. When we hear the words, “Go forth, the

Mass is ended,” our work as disciples begins anew. With these words, we

share in the mission of Christ by bringing forth his message to the world.


Catechism of the Catholic Church

explains that “the liturgy in which

the mystery of salvation is accomplished concludes with the sending forth



) of the faithful, so that they may fulfill God’s will in their daily



The dismissal at Mass invites us to respond to the Lord’s command

to “go and make disciples” by the faithful witness of our lives. Missionary

discipleship and the Mass are intimately connected.

Dependent on the Holy Spirit

The baptized are sent by Christ in and through the Holy Spirit into the

world as missionaries of faith, hope, and charity. It is with and through

“firm trust in the Holy Spirit” that one’s life is oriented toward Christ and

one can live as a missionary disciple.


“Therefore, complete trust in the

work of the Holy Spirit is essential.”


Bl. Pope Paul VI expressed this beautifully when he asked: “What

do we feel is the first and last need of the blessed and beloved Church of

ours? We must say it . . . the Holy Spirit, the animator and sanctifier of the