It is 8th October 2019. The readings are from Jonah 3:1-10; and the Gospel from Luke 10:38-42. Our affirmatively positive response is the one God deserves for calling us to be missionaries. God’s call is constant until it demands are met. The first reading inspires us to respond to God enthusiastically like Jonah. God wants us to reach out to people who are still closed, stubborn and remote from the presence of God. During this extraordinary missionary month, we need to reach out to someone and persuade them to renounce their evil ways and embrace the path of light and love. Without a committed and prayerful missionary like Jonah, the task would be unachievable. By going out for God is the appropriate response we show to God whom we have placed our trust. God wants us to be the messengers of repentance, love and mercy. God does not hate or forget anyone living in sin or chooses to live a life contrary to the will of God. The responsorial Psalm pleads, “If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive?” (Ps.129:3. The Gospel insists that we become like Mary who sat at the foot of Jesus without any pre-occupation and worries of the world. Being near Jesus and listening to Him is the prerequisite to be the missionaries of hope, love and mercy. Our deep contemplation is being in the presence of Jesus and allowing the Spirit of God to penetrate the places of darkness and shades of selfishness through the healing presence of Jesus. We cannot actively involve and work for the Lord when we have not contemplated enough to immerse in the presence of Jesus. We cannot render a half-hearted missionary work to God and the Church. Either we give the best like that of Mary, or we are trying to please our consciences with the work and business of pleasing that suits for our likings. We are all invited to be the fruitful missionaries of the Gospel. The power of presence is so rewarding both internally and externally than the power of fanciful actions. But listening and serving do not oppose each other rather they complement. A total and unbiased listening leads us to reconcile, commune and unite the other. Our missionary work has enormous challenges with those who love modern life style of love for money and obsessed with the mindset of consumerism and a fake and passing happiness. It is easy to preach and teach jokes and flowery languages that does not penetrate the sinful living of people. But what God wants the missionaries to preach needs the contemplation of the Word of God. To be missionary disciples in the contemporary world, we need to visit people in their homes, dine with them and share the Word of God. We need to enter the hearts of people as friends of Jesus not reaching homes as strangers. Our presence must complement with joyful actions of missionary endeavours of listening, wiping tears, consoling, preaching and offering the Bread of Life, the Eucharist. May the Lord help us to be generous in working for the Word by constantly listening to Jesus.

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