The Promise is to You

“Now is the Time: Proclaim God’s Love”

This is the prophetic call that the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Michigan is hearing strongly. It was the theme of the annual All Michigan Catholic Charismatic Conference (AMCCC) event held on July 8-10 with keynotes by James “Butch” Murphy. It’s Go-Time for all of us…and no, it’s not referring to Pokémon.

It refers to the urgency with which the Holy Spirit is commanding us to tell people about Jesus now. It is based in the call that we all received in our baptisms. This call is emphasized for those who have a special gift of evangelization, but those without that charism are not off the hook. Rather, we are called to proclaim Jesus through the other gifts we have received. “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Cor 12:7).

God can reveal His timing in two ways: through “outside” world events and prophetically. As if we needed more “outside” incentive, the shootings in Dallas happened the night before this conference began. They are one of many external confirmations of the prophetic sense behind the theme of this conference, which was actually discerned several years ago by the leadership of the AMCCC.

Our world is being ruled by fear on an unprecedented level today. We are all vulnerable to it…so how much more, then, must those who don’t know Christ be feeling it?

In one sense, it’s no wonder that people are desperate for protection, for provision for their needs, and for love. These things are written into our beings so that we’ll find them in our Heavenly Father. Those who have not yet met our Father are driven to obtain these things for themselves in any way they can. As the songs says, they’re “looking for love in all the wrong places.”

This is where we must come in. From the mysteriousness of God’s omniscience and perfect love, He chose to send us as His ambassadors. None of us will do it perfectly, yet He still calls us to go. Only God’s perfect love can cast out the fear that is ruling this world; only Christ can triumph over Satan.

Given the stakes, it is tempting to try to evangelize out of fear (often disguised as duty) or by using fear as a tactic. However, that would be trying to use what is of Satan to drive out Satan. It won’t work. Scripture says that “The love of Christ impels us…” (2 Cor 5:14). We must let Love Himself act in us.

“The Holy Spirit is the principle agent of evangelization” (EN, 75). He goes ahead of us, preparing the hearts of those to whom He sends us. He also is at work in the proclaimer to know what to do and say. The Lord is coordinating all of this. We can relax and trust Him.

Butch Murphy pointed out that “to proclaim” means more than “to speak.” It means “to manifest, to bring forth, to make tangible and experiential.” Each of us as baptized Christians is responsible to ask God when and what to do to accomplish this.

Butch named four ways we are to respond:
1. Announce the name of Jesus, who He is, and what He has done for us. Jesus is at the center of evangelization. As Butch put it, “Don’t be afraid to turn people off. They’re already turned off.” Hopefully we can “turn them on” to Jesus.

2. Have a holy Christian character. When you carry the Spirit of the Lord into a place or relationship, He will affect things. Mother Teresa was so aligned with Him that just by walking into a room the atmosphere would change. We must decrease so He may increase.

3. Do works of mercy and justice. Laying down our lives on a regular basis demonstrates the reality of God’s love that we speak of. God wants us to care for everyone.

4. Use your charisms. A charism can break through hardness of heart in a way that words can’t. If you don’t know what your charisms are, Upper Room has resources to help you. Details are below.

Butch encouraged us that “All we have to do is deeply know and love God and deeply know and love them (other people).” If we are in love with Jesus, we won’t be able to stop proclaiming Him. And if we are not in love with Him, we need to look at our hearts, repent of those things that we prioritize over Him, and prayerfully ask Him to set us on fire with His saving love. After all, our faith is not about a philosophy but a Person!

A powerful healing service led by Bill Richart confirmed that God is ready to act. Then at the closing Mass, presided over by Bp. Paul Bradley of the Diocese of Kalamazoo, the Holy Spirit spoke prophetically about what He is doing and what He will do:

“I am here. I am with you. I give you my power to move forward into all to which I have called you. Do not doubt. Do not fear. I am with you in power. I will move among you. I will set you free. I will give you my power to do all that I have called you to do.”

Reflection written by Christy Whiting, Upper Room Director

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An Invitation:

Upper Room’s Praise & Worship events on Friday evenings are designed specifically to help people encounter Jesus and be empowered for evangelism. Come often to be spiritually nourished and to grow with your brothers and sisters in Christ!

There are many related resources here at CTKUpperRoom.com.
In particular, mp3s of past classes are available:
-To grow in your ability to hear the Lord, take the class “Hearing God in Conversation”
-To identify your spiritual gifts and learn to use them, take “Gifts for the New Evangelization”

If the concepts of baptism in the Holy Spirit, evangelizing, and charisms are new to you, read through the resources and plan to attend the next Life in the Spirit Seminar.

 I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me

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3 Comments

  1. Tom Salapatek
    Posted December 31, 2016 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    I just started watching one of my Christmas presents: The Wild Goose.

    Any comments?

    • Christy Whiting
      Posted January 4, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Fr. Dave Pivonka did a beautiful job with that series. Enjoy!

  2. Joan D. Ford
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    USA needs all the help the Holy Spirit can send to “The Body Of Christ” ASAP

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