Today is Pentecost Sunday, the 50th day after Easter (counting both Easter Sunday and today). Pentecost is often called “the birthday of the Church.” As we hear in Holy Scripture, today is the day that the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus’ followers, and with that Jesus’ mission on earth was completed.
Jesus calls His followers and literally all of us to be missionaries. The Latin root word for “missionary” is derived from the original Greek word apostolos, which meant “one sent forth.” Obviously, we get the word “apostle” from that as well. It is further defined as one who attempts to persuade or convert. It involves the “apostle” or “disciple” working outside of the community.
When Jesus spoke these words, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” That includes each and every one of us. We, too, are sent. Many times we have reiterated that being sent means that we live out our Catholic faith in everything we do. That is the best way to evangelize, to let those around us know what it means to be a Christian and a follower of Christ and His disciple.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops made the following statement about what it means to evangelize: “Here, there are two elements of evangelization at work: