This Sunday is World Mission Sunday. Pope Francis, in his message for this day, stated, “Mission is a free and conscious response to God’s call. Yet we discern this call when we have a personal relationship of love with Jesus present in His Church.” Our Holy Father asked, “Are we willing to be sent forth at any time or place to witness to our faith in God the merciful Father, to proclaim the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ, to share the divine life of the Holy Spirit by building up the Church?”
Pope Francis also challenged us to focus on the mission of the Church in these difficult and uncertain times. He stated, “Understanding what God is saying to us at this time of pandemic also represents a challenge for the Church’s mission.” He further indicated that “Being forced to observe social distancing and to stay at home invites us to rediscover that we need social relationships as well as our communal relationship with God. Far from increasing mistrust and indifference, the situation should make us even more attentive to our way of relating to others.” Pope Francis reminded us that, “The celebration of World Mission Day is also an occasion for reaffirming how prayer, reflection and the material help of your offerings are so many opportunities to participate actively in the mission of Jesus in his Church.”
As reported by the Diocese of Fort Worth, “This year’s theme is ‘Here I Am, Send Me.’ Every parish in the world can participate, united, in this special Eucharistic celebration. Every parishioner is a missionary, sharing our love for Christ’s Gospel with one another, supporting the Church most in need.”
In this election season, we can also foster and enhance the mission of the Church by exercising our right to vote. Therefore, our bishops invite us to properly form our consciences and take an active role in the election process.
The following MISSION PRAYER from the media outlet “Images of Prayer for World Mission Sunday 2020” reflects the spirit of this day:
Lord, our God, help us to walk with You on the pathway to the beatitudes and to live out Your mission in today’s world.
Bind us to all men and women of our time, so that together we may bring the good news to the ends of the Earth.
Open our hearts and our Christian communities to the needy, the afflicted, the oppressed.
May we radiate the living Christ and transform our lives in the hope of the resurrection.
This prayer we make to you who is the living God, now and forever. Amen.