Today is World Mission Sunday, a celebration which joins all Catholics of the world into one community of faith.

Our commitment in faith to the Church’s mission relates to the broader message of St. Paul to Timothy in today’s second reading. St. Paul discusses the importance of examining our relationship with God, the way we live our daily lives – and about life everlasting. He said, “The time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:6-7).

Paul had been an avid persecutor of the first Christians. Yet after his conversion he wholeheartedly served Christ and spread the Good News as the greatest of the early missionaries.

Paul opened himself to God’s will and became His loyal servant. He accepted many hardships on his journeys as he shared the message of salvation. Now it is our time to be people of mission. It is our time to serve our loving Lord, to be His missionaries every day, wherever we are.

What is World Mission Sunday?

  • established 90 years ago, in 1926 by Pope Pius XI
  • organized by Propaganda Fide
  • supports the Pontifical Mission Societies

Propaganda Fide success story:

In late spring, a joyous celebration took place as a new church was dedicated in Vasai, western India, thanks to our solidarity with the Mission Church. Three thousand people came together for the first Mass in their new church, built with support from the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, and specifically the World Mission Sunday collection. During the Mass, 260 boys and girls received the Sacrament of Confirmation, prepared by catechists in their community who also receive help through the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. The new church will serve as the center of parish outreach in education and health care, as well as into the “hunger zones” in the area.

Why support the missions?

  • mission is our identity as Christians
    • our Lord gives us the great commission
    • The word “Mass” itself comes from the Latin word missa, which means “sent.” From the same root verb we get missio, which becomes “mission” in English.  The Mass gathers us together and then sends us forth on a mission.
    • story: Jesus and the angel

There is a famous story which tells how our Lord Jesus Christ returned to glory following His Passion and Resurrection, still bearing the marks of His suffering. One of the angels looked at the Lord and said, “You must have suffered terribly down there. Does the world know what you did for it? Do they all understand how great your love is for them?”

“No,” Jesus responded, “Not yet. Only a handful of people, my followers in Palestine, know about my divine love and works of salvation.”

The angel seemed perplexed, “Well, what have you done to ensure that all people throughout the world will hear about You?”

Christ confidently responded “I commanded my disciples, Peter and Paul, James and John, and the others to make it their business to share the Good News. And these will tell others, who will still tell others, until the farthest person of the widest circle throughout the world will hear my story.”

The angel looked especially doubtful now, for he knew well what poor creatures humans were. “Yes,” he said, “but what if Peter and Paul, James and John, and the others forget? What if they grow weary of the telling? What if they ignore their responsibility? What if, away down in the 21st century, your followers fail to share the story of your love for the world? What then? Haven’t you made any back‑up plans?

To which Jesus responded, “No. I haven’t made any other plans. I’m counting on them!”

  • our Lord is counting on us. He trusts us with his message of mercy.
  • yet, not all can travel to far-off lands to evangelize

How can I participate in the mission of the Church?

  • Everyone has something to give.
    • A line from one of my favorite bands, singing about mission work: “Maybe you’ve got money, maybe you’ve got time, maybe you’ve got the living well that ain’t ever runnin’ dry.”
  • pray for the missions
    • “pierce the clouds with our prayers” (Sirach)
  • supporting the missions financially makes you a participant in their evangelization efforts
  • become a missionary yourself
    • abroad
    • right here in Abbott/Penelope. The world desperately needs missionaries, because the world desperately needs Christ.

Today we celebrate the baptism of Remington Pustejovsky.  Remington is baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ, and so is baptized into her mission.

Let us recommit ourselves to our common call, through our Baptism, to be missionaries.  We participate in that mission through prayer, receiving the Eucharist, and by giving generously to the collection for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. As we pray and respond in parish churches here at home, we share in those celebrations taking place in every parish, seminary, school and convent all over the world.