MISSION SUNDAY October 19 2014
we have to reach out to all
Today, the Catholic Church celebrates Mission Sunday. The Church, by her very nature is missionary. She reaches out to all the people and especially to the so-called “unlovables” and “untouchables.” Hence if we truly want to be the missionaries of God’s love and joy, we have to reach out to all, including: the poor, the orphan, the alien, the widow, the helpless, the least, the lost and the last.
In today’s First Reading, Jerusalem is invited to be ready to receive all her scattered children. She is to be a light for the lost, that her people seeing her light, may be drawn to her. St Paul invites the Romans to receive both the Jews and the Gentiles. Jesus in the Gospel extends the boundaries of mission to the whole world. His disciples are to go to the whole world to give the people Jesus’ message and make them his disciples. He assures them of his presence with them.
One can be a missionary in the eyes of God at five different levels: Human, Christian, Catholic, Religious and Spiritual.
a) Our Human Mission: God has created all human beings in his own image and likeness. Hence we serve people not because they belong to a particular religion, faith tradition, caste, language or culture. We take the human being as a measure of everything. Our human mission embraces people from all walks of life. By this we fulfil the command of Jesus to go to all the nations.
b) Our Christian Mission: Jesus told his disciples to baptize people in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Our Christian mission cannot be limited simply to the act of baptism. We are to inculcate the love of the Father, the peace of the Son and the fellowship of the Spirit in a society, starved of love, peace and fellowship. This may be true not only of those who are outside the Church but also of those within the Church. Our Christian mission is to re-evangelize our own brethren, reminding them of the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation and the effect in their lives.
c) Our Catholic Mission: “Teach them to observe all that I have commanded you,” is part of the great mission command of Jesus. The Church’s teaching office consists of three pillars. Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Teaching of the Magisterium which form a single deposit of faith. As a disciple of Christ, I make it my obligation as well as my right, to know and to study the teaching of these three pillars. Hence my Catholic mission springs from this teaching.
d) Our Religious Mission: That Jesus is giving this mission command basically to ‘the eleven disciples’, is indicative of some special mission, entrusted to them. They stand also for the religious, who commit themselves to the mission of God by way of living the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. These vows help the religious to be available, adaptable and accountable for the mission of Jesus.
e) Our Spiritual Mission: Mission has to be based on some spiritual experience. The disciples were taken as far as the mountain in Galilee. There they worshipped Jesus and then they received their mission. Any mission which is not based on some spiritual foundation runs the risk of turning out to be personal agenda and a professional project. It hardly gives the people an experience of the continuous presence of Jesus with the disciples.
During this Eucharistic celebration, let us ask the Lord to give us an experience of his life-giving presence so that we may carry out our Human, Christian, Catholic, Religious and Spiritual Mission in an effective manner.
– Fr (Dr) Robert B. D’Souza
Sourece: © sundayliturgy.com