It is 20th October 2019. We celebrate Mission Sunday on this Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The readings are from Exodus 17:8-13; the second reading is from 2 Timothy 3:14-4:2; and the Gospel from Luke 18:1-8. On the occasion of World Mission Day, which this year celebrates its 93rd anniversary within the context of the Extraordinary Missionary Month announced by Pope Francis to mark the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud. In the message of His Holiness Pope Francis for World Mission Day 2019, “Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World,” we are invited to revive her missionary awareness and commitment and to rediscover the missionary dimension of our faith in Jesus Christ. He teaches us, “This divine life is not a product for sale – we do not practise proselytism – but a treasure to be given, communicated and proclaimed: that is the meaning of mission. The Church requires a constant and ongoing missionary conversion. This missionary mandate touches us personally: I am a mission, always; you are a mission, always; every baptized man and woman is a mission. Our mission, then, is rooted in the fatherhood of God and the motherhood of the Church. The universality of the salvation offered by God in Jesus Christ led Benedict XV to call for an end to all forms of nationalism and ethnocentrism, or the merging of the preaching of the Gospel with the economic and military interests of the colonial powers. A renewed Pentecost opens wide the doors of the Church, in order that no culture remain closed in on itself and no people cut off from the universal communion of the faith.” The pontiff highlights in the light of first reading, “mission aims at the proclamation of the Passover of Jesus and of the divine reconciliation He offers.” The purpose of the mission is, “to witness to Jesus Christ, to communicate His Gospel, to build up His Church in a climate of sincere fraternity and authentic and respectful religious freedom.” Pope Francis reiterates, “The Cross of Jesus is the place where evil is defeated by the love of the One who dies for us, who dies in our place, making the experience of our death his own.” In his Sacramentum Caritatis, No.9, Pope Benedict XVI affirmed it, “In the Paschal Mystery, our deliverance from evil and death has taken place.” The second reading explains the faith of Timothy who embraced the faith during the first missionary journey of the apostle Paul who encouraged Timothy telling, “I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.”( 2 Timothy 4:2). The responsorial Psalm acclaims, “Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”(Ps.121:2). The Gospel portrays a parable about a widow who was denied the right to express herself by a corrupt judge. The woman fought for her right even in an unfavourable and indifferent justice system. Jesus uses this parable to insist the necessity of urgent and continual prayer. Without persistent prayer missionary activities will be noisy, pompous and baseless. Pope Francis boldly teaches us, “The efficacy of continuous prayer, of constant supplication, of the insistent search for love for truth and justice, forges the disciple’s capacity for mission.” May our missionary endeavours be authentic in witnessing for Christ intimately with insistent prayer that listens to the cry of the poor and suffering humanity. May you have a good day. May God bless you.

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