One of the more traumatic experiences I had as a child was changing schools from elementary to high school. It meant a whole new adjustment period. The changes were not merely cosmetic – from being in the oldest age bracket to the youngest; from knowing all the teachers well to knowing none at all; from having one teacher for the whole year to having different teachers for different subjects and so on. There was also the challenge of having to make new friends. However, as you can guess, I survived! In fact, dare I say, I flourished in the new environment after a very short while. Since then I have always enjoyed similar challenges.

When Jesus began to proclaim the Gospel people very quickly realized that He was calling for some very radical changes in the way that they understood and lived their faith. There were many who opposed Jesus and worked against all that He was trying to do. At the same time there were those who wholeheartedly embraced the Gospel as they saw in it a new and more vital understanding of their relationship with God. The Gospel Jesus proclaimed demanded new understandings of faith and religious practice that would have revolutionized the Jewish faith if they had been taken on by the authorities. As we know from history, this did not happen and Christianity was the faith that arose from the proclamation and life of Jesus.

It must have been difficult for the disciples to understand where this new faith was going to lead them, but to their credit, they were willing to go with Jesus on this new journey. Many times throughout the history of the Church there have been renewal movements raised up under the grace and power of the Holy Spirit that seek to bring renewal to the faith and practices of the Church. Sometimes they have faced persecution from Church authorities before gaining full acceptance. Thank God that the saints who led them were willing to persevere in the face of great trials and difficulties.

Many before us have embraced lives of challenge and hardship for the sake of the Gospel. What are we doing to further the work of the Kingdom of God here on earth? How are we trying to develop new wineskins of the work of the Holy Spirit in keeping with the need to continually develop the Church’s presentation of the Gospel truths to an ever rapidly changing world?

The challenges that face the Church of the third millennium are not small! How am I going to contribute to this project?

Holy Spirit, inspire in me the zeal to want to be involved in the work of evangelization. Give me your vision for the Church so that I will be inspired to give my life to the work of the Kingdom of God.