The theme for this year’s Mission Sunday is: “Every Christian is a missionary”
Pope Francis reminds us that by virtue of our Baptism we are all missionaries. By our Baptism we are gifted with the wonderful privilege of knowing the Word of God. In answering the call of our Baptism we go forth to proclaim the Word of God to others.
In our Irish tradition we know many people who have gone to other parts of the world to proclaim the Word. Some have gone for a lifetime, others for a specific time. But the great majority remain at home. We are still called to be missionary. We have Jesus as our model who felt called only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Jesus is the embodiment of God’s loving mercy for humanity shown by him to the people he met each day .Jesus opened up access to God for everybody. His mission was to reveal Divine love to all excluding no one. He made this love visible by the way he related to people, by what he said and did for broken human beings.
The example of Jesus inspires us, his followers to reach out to others in compassion and love. We can all use our gifts in different ways. Being a missionary could be as simple as being present in the life of another person, to listen to their story and to respond to his or her need in love. It’s our attitude to what we do that counts. The doctor or nurse who treats patients with love and compassion brings God’s love to them and they are truly missionary. When we come with joy to the old, the lonely, the sick or the young, we are missionaries of God’s love and kindness and we reveal the face of God.
Today’s readings tells us about the missionary mind of God. It is God’s desire that those who are weakest are protected. In the Old Testament those are symbolised by the poor, the widow and the orphan. In today’s world we are constantly being told who the weakest are: the refugees fleeing from war and oppression, people whose homes and lives are destroyed by storms and floods, children who have lost parents and are orphaned, the homeless who have to sleep on the streets
The Gospel teaches us how to pray, to ask for God’s mercy for ourselves and then for others. In this year of Mercy we are all called to be missionaries of mercy.
World Missions Ireland gives us an opportunity to help those in need especially in the poorer parts of the world. We may not be able to go ourselves but we can send help to those who have gone so that they can do their best to reveal the love of God to those in need.