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Mission Sunday – October 22nd 2017
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.
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.”
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger
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