Sunday was World Mission Sunday, a day to reflect upon the missionary work of those sent to bring the good news to the world. We typically think of these people as priests and religious who undertake a dedicated ministry in other countries when we think of mission work. This is understandable but does not address our own call to be missionaries; right here in Central Wisconsin. As baptized Catholics each of us are called to be missionaries! Yes, in our own way we are called to spread the Gospel message of love to everyone we encounter.
You may ask; “who me?” How can I be a missionary in my life? The answer is simple, but very demanding; we need to act in a manner similar to God to everyone we encounter, our family, friends, school mates, coworkers and even our enemies. Yes, this can be very demanding!
I know a local man, Gabe Hurrish, from St. Stephen’s parish who previously did many years of missionary work in Africa. Gabe returned home to help care for his mother after his father passed away. I have been blessed to know Gabe for a few years and have always been impressed with his work; he is a true Catholic. He spreads the Gospel message here at home as well as in far away places. He is a caring individual, concerned about doing God’s will in all aspects of his life. Gabe will be returning to mission work in a foreign land in the near future, so keep him in your prayers.
Now Gabe is a special person with great gifts to share, and you may say; “I don’t have gifts like his.” The fact is that each of us does possess skills that can draw people to Christ and His Church. These are often simple abilities to carry on a conversation with someone who may be doubting God or their faith. It could be the knowledge of Church teaching that you can share with a coworker who speaks ill of our Catholic faith, or the skill of serving someone in need while making them feel special. Each one of us has been given gifts God can use to spread His message of unconditional love.
At the end of each Mass, I am blessed to pronounce the sending rite; “Go forth, the Mass is ended.” This is the time each one of us are “sent” in a special way into the world to act as Christ. As you are “sent” today think about your very special role as missionary. Tell yourself; “I am a missionary of Jesus Christ,” think about how amazing this is and call upon the Holy Spirit to enlighten you to the role God has planned for you!