This Sunday we celebrate World Mission Sunday. This year’s theme is, “We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). In his ‘Mission” message this year, Our Holy Father, Pope Francis has described the theme as “a summons to each of us to ‘own’ and to bring to others what we bear in our hearts.” He stated, “Once we experience the power of God’s love, and recognize His fatherly presence in our personal and community life, we cannot help but proclaim and share what we have seen and heard.” He also noted, “Everything about Christ reminds us that He knows well our world and its need for redemption, and calls us to become actively engaged in this mission.”
Pope Francis, in another address, 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?”
As disciples, we are challenged to get personally involved in living the gospel message despite potential risks and difficulties concerning engagement with secular sectors of our society. As previously noted, we can personally spread Christian values through our participation in such events as the March for Life and the Eucharistic Congress. We can also spread these values through our involvement with the Saint Vincent DePaul Society and Catholic Charities, and other organizations which encourage Christian outreach, as we assist people in need, especially those in mission territories. In addition, we can spread the gospel message by challenging our civil leaders to enact laws that promote Catholic social teaching, especially in areas concerning the unborn, marriage, and the family.
The following “Prayer For World Mission Sunday” reflects the call to witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ:
Lord, may Your mission become the central concern for our church community throughout the world.
Bring us closer to our brothers and sisters, that we bear witness of our faith in Christ and announce His gospel.
Embolden us to go out and meet the many people who hear good news that you love us and you want our happiness through the construction of a better world, your kingdom!
We ask this through Jesus, Your greatest missionary with us, forever and ever. Amen
As we reflect on this prayer, and on the profound words of Pope Francis, and as we celebrate World Mission Sunday, we are challenged to set a good example for others and to embrace the missionary spirit of our precious faith.