This Sunday is World Mission Sunday. Pope Francis, in his message for this day, stated, “Christ was the first to be sent, as a ‘missionary’ of the Father, and as such, He is the Father’s ‘faithful witness. In a similar way, every Christian is called to be a missionary and witness to Christ. And the Church, the community of Christ’s disciples, has no other mission than that of bringing the Gospel to the entire world by bearing witness to Christ. To evangelize is the very identity of the Church.”
Our Holy Father, embracing the words of Jesus, focused on what he called the three foundations of the life and mission of every disciple: “You shall be my witnesses”, “to the ends of the earth”, and “you shall receive the power of the Holy Spirit.”
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 Catholics, we are to personally identify ourselves as disciples of Christ. We are challenged to see the face of Christ in others and to reach out to those in need. As previously noted, we can spread Christian awareness through our involvement with the Saint Vincent DePaul Society, Catholic Charities, and other organizations which encourage Christian outreach. In addition, we can spread the Gospel message by encouraging 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” from the media outlet, “Prayerist” reflects the spirit of this day:
Heavenly Father, when Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ rose from the dead, He commissioned His followers to go and make disciples of all nations, and You remind us that through Baptism we are made sharers in the mission of the Church.
Empower us by the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be courageous and zealous in bearing witness to the Gospel, so that the mission entrusted to the Church, which is still very far from completion, may find new and efficacious expressions that bring life and light to the world.
Help us make it possible for all peoples to experience the saving love and mercy of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit. One God, forever and ever. Amen.
As we reflect on this prayer, on the profound words of Pope Francis, and as we celebrate World Mission Sunday, we are challenged to be witnesses to Christ as we strive to truly embrace the missionary spirit of our precious faith.