Father Nathan Homily | October 20, 2019
Father Nathan | Homily
29th Sunday Ordinary Time | World Mission Sunday
I would be a missionary not for a year’s only, but from the beginning of creation until the consummation of the ages
Today the Holy Catholic Church celebrates Mission Sunday. This Sunday, we are called to pray for all the missionaries around the world, we are called to support them, and we are called to become missionaries at home and around the world.
The Catholic Church by her very nature is Missionary church. She has to keep on moving, preaching the Good News of Christ our Lord to all and that is why Christ our Lord before going to heaven gave a new mandate to His apostles saying,
“Therefore go everywhere preach the Good news and baptized them all in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit”.
Christ our Lord with His disciples went everywhere preaching and healing and then asked His disciples to do the same. It’s because the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few and therefore we have to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send more laborers into His vineyard.
Over one billion Catholics all over the world observe today as World Mission Sunday. This annual observance was instituted 93 years ago in 1926 by a Papal decree issued by Pope Pius XI. Every year since then, the universal Church has dedicated the month of October to reflection on and prayer for the missions.
On World Mission Sunday, Catholics gather to celebrate the Eucharist and to contribute to a collection for the work of evangelization around the world. This annual celebration gives us a chance to reflect on the importance of mission work for the life of the Church. It reminds us that we are one with the Church around the world and that we are all committed to carrying on the mission of Christ, however different our situations may be.
The Holy Fathers’ Mission Sunday Messages:
Pope Benedict XVI, in his World Mission Sunday messages stressed the importance of Christian charity in action as the keynote of evangelization. He encouraged Churches with a shortage of priests to get them from countries with many priests. In the Pauline Year, he encouraged everyone
“to take renewed awareness of the urgent need to proclaim the Gospel.”
He reminded us that the
“the goal of the Church’s mission is to illumine all peoples with the light of the Gospel”
and exhorted all Christians
“to redouble their commitment to participate in the missionary activity that is an essential component of the life of the Church.“
Pope Francis, in his first World Mission Sunday message, 2013, challenged us to proclaim courageously and in every situation the Gospel of Christ, a message of hope, reconciliation and communion. In his 2014 Mission Sunday message, the Pope challenged the Church to become a welcoming home, a mother for all peoples and the source of rebirth for our world through the intercession of Mary, the model of humble and joyful evangelization.
“The Church is on a mission in the world,”
—Pope Francis writes in his 2019 World Mission Day message, Baptized and Sent.
“This missionary mandate touches us personally: I am a mission, always; you are a mission, always; every baptized man and woman is a mission.”
Hence the Holy Father calls on all Catholics and the Church to revive missionary awareness and commitment.
The Missionary Church:
The Church, according to Vatican Council II, is “missionary” in her very nature because her founder, Jesus Christ, was the first missionary. God the Father sent God the Son into the world with a message of God’s love and salvation.
Thus, the evangelizing mission of the Church is essentially the announcement of God’s love, mercy, forgiveness, and salvation as these are revealed to mankind through the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.
How should we evangelize?
- By exemplary and transparent Christian life
- By prayer and by financial support.
The most powerful means of preaching Christ is by living a truly Christian life — a life filled with love, mercy, kindness, compassion and a spirit of forgiveness and service.
Prayer is the second means of missionary work. Jesus said:
“Without me you can do nothing.”
Therefore, prayer is necessary for anyone who wishes to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.
All missionary efforts also require financial support because the love of God can often be explained to the poor only by providing them with food, medicine and means of livelihood. Hence, on this Mission Sunday, let us learn to appreciate our missionary obligation and support the Church’s missionary activities by leading transparent Christian lives, by fervent prayers, and by generous donations.
So, friends in Christ Jesus, as we pray and support Missionaries around the world, let us become missionaries at home and help your own family members to know Christ who is love.
“Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor”
Have a Blessed Week,
Read the message from Pope Francis – Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World.
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