Reflection for Mission Sunday 2016
On this Sunday, World Mission Day, by Prayer and in other ways – a letter or e-mail, financial contribution, a visit to a Missionary’s family – we support men and women who have given their lives in the service of Faith and of Justice all over the world.
Jesus committed his followers to carry out the task of bringing the Good News of God’s love for Humanity to all peoples and to offer Everlasting Life and happiness to all who believe.
From the outset,the First Disciples of Jesus came to a clear understanding that He was depending on them to continue His Mission in the world.When those First Disciples went out into the unbelieving and hostile world of the first century a.d. They attributed their success to the added support of the Risen Lord.
Missionary activity has been a constant feature of the Church down through the centuries.One of the greatest Missionaries was St. Francis Xaviour who was remarkable for his constant travel,incessant work and great dedication in bringing the Nations into the Household of the Faith. He was the Saint in a hurry to fulfill Our Lord’s wish to Teach all Nations.
While in no way taking away from the generosity and self-sacrifice of those who left everything to work as Missionaries in foreign lands,it is important to say that all followers of Christ are called to be Missionaries by virtue of Baptism.
A great example of this Universal Call to Mission is the life of The Little Flower-St.Therese of Lisieux-who earned the title Patron Saint of the Missions.Therese was a woman of Prayer who entered the enclosed order of the Carmelites.She never left her convent to go on the Missions as her health was too poor and she died at the age of 24.Yet her tireless Prayer and the little sacrifices made for the Missions e.g. she was especially kind to the sisters she didn’t like-all of this was her contribution to the Church’s Mission.
There is no place where the Church is not Missionary because every Parish,Home and Workplace is a Mission Field where neglected areas are in need of the Good News.Christians are bearers of the Good News of Salvation when they live a good life because this may be the only Book of the Gospel open for those searching for the truth to read.As Cardinal Newman once wrote: “let me preach to you without preaching, not by my words but by my example”.
Today,apart from our manner of life and our ability to reach out to others the message we preach faces other challenges,namely the decline in religious practice and indifference as many professed Christians do not allow Gospel Values to influence their everyday activities.In spite of these difficulties,We Christians should always remind ourselves that our Faith is for sharing and for handing on to the next generation.On this Mission Sunday we ask Christ the Lord to make our Faith strong enough so that we may be eager to share it with others.