Missionary Network – The First Missionary Journey in the World
Maria’s Yes changed the World
Pope Francis has conferred an inspiring passage of the scripture on World Youth Day 2023: “Mary arose and went with haste” (Luke 1:39). It describes the origin of the greatest story on earth – the story of Jesus. It kicks off in the far reaches of the world, in an obscure village. Starting things off is a girl, perhaps 14 years old, who unexpectedly becomes pregnant. It is not a mishap in love, but love itself – it is God choosing someone who most likely can’t even read and write. Out of millions of possible starting points, he chooses Mary from Nazareth to set something in motion that affects everyone: You and me, the great and the small, the poor and the rich, the famous and the forgotten.
Mary at first seems to do what all women carrying a child in their womb do. She seeks the solidarity of other women, the rejoicing of her best friend. This was also likely so with Mary. But perhaps on the long walk through the hill country of Galilee, step by step, something of the intangible, the divine, dawned on her, giving her life a completely different twist. Something happened to her that goes beyond all human thought. God in my belly? Yes, it has to be said so blatantly.
Later it will be said: Mary undertook the first missionary journey in the world. Because what is mission if you leave out everything that is not important? The mission is to share Jesus with one or more other people. To be a bearer of Jesus. This has not always been understood clearly enough by the church. Sometimes mission was thought to be bringing civilization to people. Or education. Or culture. Or good manners. But the church is not an NGO. It only has Jesus on its agenda. And with him everything.
The first Missionary Trip in the World
In Germany, there is a beautiful old Christmas carol that people sing during Advent: “Maria durch ein’ Dornwald ging” (“Mary walks amid the thorns”). This is made up, of course. No one knows if Mary really had to go through thorn bushes as she made her way through the hill country of Judea. But the image it wants to convey is that Mary certainly had to contend with other thorny things: bullying, mistrust, malicious gossip. And dare I say: this happens to everyone who is a missionary disciple, a bearer of Jesus, today. People will point fingers at you, think you’re a religious nut or a sanctimonious person. You will go through thorns, but you will know what you have had in you since your baptism and confirmation – the same as Mary: the LORD is in you. In the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul poses the test question to the new Christians in one of the hottest metropolises of the world at that time: “Do you not experience in yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?” (2 Cor. 13:5) Have you ever experienced that Jesus dwells in you, that he has, in a sense, made himself at home in you? That he has room in your life, your plans, your goals, your capacity to love. Is he already part of your identity? You are with him? How much depth opens up in your soul!
What’s about Your Mission
In the Missionary Network you will meet people who – just like you – have been touched by Jesus. Just like you, they want to go out into the world and share their experience. They want to attracted people for Jesus. As YOUCAT Foundation we would like to support you in this.
YOUCAT is the best-known youth brand of the Catholic Church. The name stands for a young missionary awakening of the Church – an awakening that begins with putting Jesus in the center and discovering catechesis in a whole new way. It is clear that those who don’t know the faith cannot transmit it; those who do not understand the Church cannot love her.
In many countries, the work with YOUCAT, DOCAT, YOUCAT for Kids (and many other materials) has borne fascinating fruit. Committed priests, charismatic leaders and enthusiastic young people have started a learning movement of faith, which we will now connect worldwide in the Missionary Network.
- Subscribe to our missionary newsletter and become part of the network.
- Meet friends, catechists, missionaries, leaders from all over the world!
- You can communicate directly with us; we look forward to your experiences, your tools, your ideas. For example, you can contribute to a blog or Instagram.
- You will regularly receive valuable impulses for your work (theological, practical, pedagogical).
- We invite you to international calls and conferences.
- We internationalize your best ideas and projects and share them with the whole world.
- You get a unique empowerment for the transmission of faith. We encourage you. We motivate you.
Discover our digital products, which will help you to grow in faith and become missionaries yourself.