WORLD MISSION SUNDAY - Lessons from Pope Francis Message
21st October 2018
Kindly read this link https://missio.org.uk/world-mission-sunday-2018/
TEN Pastoral Lessons from Pope Francis’ 2018 World Mission Sunday
This celebration started based on the decree of Pope Pius XI in 1926. It is a day in which every Church institution, rich or poor around the world prays and supports the mission through a special collection for the Church’s worldwide Mission Sunday (WMS) Solidarity Fund. It would be recalled that the Holy Father, Pope Francis released his message for WMS titled “Together with the Youth we Proclaim the Gospel to All” on May 19, 2018. What informed this message is his firm belief that “young people are the hope of mission.” 10 Takeaways from the Holy Father’s 2018 WMS Message
1. Everyone is a “Mission”: We must make concerted efforts at fulfilling the mission we received from Christ by the virtue of being grafted into him at baptism as espoused in Lumen Gentium, Gaudium et Spes and Ad Gentes through reflecting deeply about why God created us i.e., “To know him, love him, serve him in this world and be happy with him in the next.”
2. Proclaim Jesus Christ: We are charged not to be afraid of proclaiming Jesus to all peoples (Redemptoris Missio 3) amidst the vicissitudes of life based on the assurance that “evil is an incentive to a greater love” to those who stand by him.
3. Learn from the School of the Saints: Since it is the Saints who first opened for us the horizons of God, we ought to be set afire by the love of Christ by being consumed by that fire through generous sacrifice even if it leads to martyrdom –
4. Learn from the School of the Old: Grow in the grace of the faith bestowed on us by the Church’s sacraments by tapping “the wisdom and experience of older persons to become testimony and encouragement for those looking to the future” – The wise counsel of the aged and the enthusiasm of the young ought to create a missionary-bridge of unity of faith and profound neighbourly love in our communities.
5. Transmit the Faith: Because transmitting the faith is at the heart of the Church’s Mission, we are called to spread the faith through encounter, witness, proclamation and charity especially to those in “desolate peripheries” who may be indifferent or hostile to the faith.
6. Rejection of God has Consequences: Our liturgy warns against all forms of material and spiritual poverty as well as discrimination against our brothers and sisters because these are “a consequence of the rejection of God and his love.”
7. Rediscover Your Vocation: In a world in which young people are caught in the web of social networks which often promise elimination of distances and reduction of differences, we are charged to “share a true communion of life,” by discovering and preserving our vocation to God and humanity.
8. Bear Witness to Love: We are called to take advantage of ecclesial groups like parishes, associations, movements, religious communities et al to engage in missionary volunteer work which promotes human dignity and witnesses to the joy of the gospel.
9. Training Young People: As a Church, we are charged to educate and train young people in vocational discernment to promote and foster their God-given gifts in the service of others by being missionaries who are plunged “into the stream of witnesses God desires.”
10. Support for the Missions: Since “some give to the mission by going and others go to the mission by giving,”
Conclusion: By the virtue of our baptism into Christ, we are all missionaries called to serve the needs of the Universal Church ad intra and ad extra. We are particularly charged to give the youth their rightful place in the Church as leaders of tomorrow so as to showcase their talents for the growth of the Church to the greater glory of God. While this is done, it behoves on the youth to always listen to the wise counsel of the aged. Since the Church is missionary by character (Redemptoris Missio 5), the Holy Father reminds you and me that we are “Mission.” Happy World Mission Sunday!