Mission Sunday – October 20th 2013
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart. ‘There was a judge in a certain town’ he said ‘who had neither fear of God nor respect for man. In the same town there was a widow who kept on coming to him and saying, “I want justice from you against my enemy!” For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, “Maybe I have neither fear of God nor respect for man, but since she keeps pestering me I must give this widow her just rights, or she will persist in coming and worry me to death”.’
And the Lord said ‘You notice what the unjust judge has to say? Now will not God see justice done to his chosen who cry to him day and night even when he delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?’
REFLECTION FOR MISSION SUNDAY
Irish people have long memories of helping the missions – collecting stamps, mission groups in schools, aunts and uncles ‘out foreign’. It is an essential part of the church, because Christ is missionary, sent not just to one, but to all, preach and to make a better world, founded on the gospel of Christ. Even if people aren’t baptised, the church wants to point out the way to a truly human life – the way, truth and life who is Christ and committed to the world of justice.
A Passionate Spirit
So much hunger, ill health, lack of education – the missionary spirit is passionate about wanting to improve things with the message of the gospel.
Today we pray for our missionaries – they are helped by our prayers in what is often a lonely life for them; help the missionary societies if we can; think of giving some time in volunteering in the poorer world; we can decide to vote for people who are concerned for the developing world and who will maintain our aid to the world in need; we can encourage the young to think globally.
Other days we speak of being missionaries at home and to each other. Every generation discovers Jesus in new ways. We pray for courage for our people overseas and also for ourselves that we can live as Jesus in different ways. But all are missionaries as Pope Francis says – “Each individual Christian and every community is missionary to the extent that they bring to others and live the Gospel, and testify to God’s love for all, especially those experiencing difficulties. Be missionaries of God’s love and tenderness! Be missionaries of God’s mercy, which always forgives us, always awaits us and loves us dearly.”
Donal Neary SJ