May the Lord give your grace, peace, and health in the Holy Spirit. It is on 23rd October 2022. We celebrate the 30th Sunday in ordinary time as Mission Sunday. We reflect on Isaiah 2:1-5; Ephesians 3:2-12; and Mark 16:15-20. The theme of Mission Sunday is You are my witnesses.
We are the witnesses of God’s love in our families and the world.
His Holiness Pope Francis spelt out something so crucial for this year’s celebration. In his message for World Mission Sunday this year, he invites all of us to be the witnesses to Christ: “You shall be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). “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.”
We are gifted, empowered, strengthened, and guided by the Holy Spirit. The pontiff applauds three persons who contribute enormously to the missions; the French Bishop Charles de Forbin-Janson, who established the Association of the Holy Childhood to promote the mission among children, with the motto “Children evangelize children, children pray for children, children help children the world over.”
We are all reminded once again that We all are missionaries by the virtue of the Baptism. Let us recall those missionaries who brought Christ in our lives. Do you remember their names and the place they came from and the sacrifices they made.
The reading helps us to strengthen the vision of Jesus to spread the Good News with a special behavior that attracts others to Christ.
The first one is to deal with our ego. EGO means ejecting God out. It is the arrogance and indifference we develop over time in getting rid of God and others and making ourselves so important disproportionately.
The second one is the power of prayer. Without prayer support, no mission can do its best. Do we pray for the mission of Christ, missionaries, and mission centers around the world? Humility wrapped in service makes prayer so attractive to God. The first reading convinces us that God does not ignore the prayer of the poor, especially the sinful, the orphans, and the widows. “The prayer of the humble pierces the clouds, and it will not rest until it reaches its goal; it will not desist until the Most High responds.” (Sir.35:21). The responsorial psalm strengthens the first reading by intonating, “The Lord hears the cry of the poor.”
The second reading presents us with the example of St. Paul, the greatest missionary for Christ.
The third and most important element to be a missionary is presented in the Gospel today. In this week’s parable, Jesus chooses the temple as his setting to emphasize the point that it is wrong to live with pride. Two persons went to pray. The Gospel reprimands all of us to be careful about our self-advertising and promoting character. The story of Pharisee and the tax collection teaches us a lot. Pharisee spoke 29 words while tax-collect whispered 6. The tax collector knew his place before God while the other want to boast about his place in the world. “I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”
A humble person can only be a missionary whose prayer will bring many people closer to Christ. Prayer of a poor person, service, and sacrifice like that of St. Paul and humility of the tax collector is so much needed for a missionary.
We all have experienced the love of Christ in our lives and so we have the responsibility to share God’s love with someone.
The attitude matters before God. Pharisee lacked that attitude. May the Lord help us be generous towards the mission, missionaries, and mission work. God bless you.