It is 23rd October 2016. We celebrate the World Mission Sunday on this Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. In his message, His holiness Pope Francis teaches us: “All people and cultures have the right to receive the message of salvation which God’s gift to every person.” We are all believers just because someone from somewhere brought us Christ into our lives. It is our turn to proclaim the message of Christ to everyone, starting from where we are right now. We are all invited to be missionaries. The readings are from Sirach 35:12-14, 16-19; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18; and the Gospel is from Luke 18:9-14. The first reading brings out the power of a poor person’s prayer. “The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds… and the Lord will not delay.” (Sir.35:18). In spreading the love of God, we need to be on guard about our self-righteous and proud behaviours before God and people. Our best time of communion with God is our humble service to God. God does not ignore us when we pray and God hears all our prayers especially the deep silent cries of the orphan, the widow and the poor are distinctively heard in God’s presence. The responsorial Psalm acclaims, “The Lord hears the cry of the poor.” (Ps.34:7). St. Paul celebrates his faith as a success story. Every missionary needs to have these sentiments of St. Paul at the end to have a contentment of working for Christ. We who began everything in Christ, must strive forward to complete in Christ. Let us cultivate perseverance and faithfulness in missionary endeavours. God is waiting to reward us all for reaching the final destination in God through love. In the Gospel Jesus reminds us that God hears the prayers wrapped in humility and thanksgiving. In every one of us, there is a Pharisee and a Tax-collector. We need to nurture the spirit of the tax-collector to be humble, grateful, repentant in heart and pleading for God’s mercy. Every time, we face God, we need to say, “O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” (Lk.18:14). God out rightly rejects the proud, self-justification and self-righteous prayers. Prayers need to be short and from the heart. We cannot impress God with our bouquet of words rather a garland of humble service-filled life does. Let us be a humble missionary in all we do and say. May you have a good day.

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