This weekend in the Church is World Mission Sunday. Pope Francis has called this weekend to be one to celebrate the Mission of the church and for the Church to be on the move so to bring the Gospel everywhere. Bishop Callahan also wants us priests to “remind your parishioners of their call to be missionary disciples.” This is an universal collection that touches the lives of so many. Let me throw a few numbers at you so you can see how your generosity impacts others.
26 million children, 38,140 seminarians, 8,750 shelters, 12,000 health centers, 844,000 catechists and 258,540 religious sisters are all assisted by your gift through the Mission Sunday Collection. So I encourage your generosity through the envelopes that are provided. Thank you.
Sometimes we think of the mission field of the Church as out there and far away. That all we can do is pray and be generous. Which, yes we should do, nonetheless we should also think of the mission field right here at home. Or more specifically in the home.
I am excited for the weddings that are being planned for next year here at the parish. Marriage is an area of mission, of bringing the Gospel to our young people so to offer them the graces needed to live that sacrament out till death do they part.
As disciples how do we support the sacrament of Holy marriage? What is our attitude? Members of our parish have gone through the suffering and loss of divorce. The pain is there and who walks with them in their suffering? Who is open to listening?
We are made in the image of the Holy Trinity. We are made for community. We are made for connection, to know others and for others to come to know us. That’s an aspect of relationships that we can take for granted. Have you considered your role in building up community? First in your own home? Even there we can isolate ourselves in front of a screen perhaps at the table with others right there. Build up our school/classmates or co-workers/place of employment. The Stevens Point community that we live in? Our parish that we go to? What are the ways we are building up and deepening our relationships with others?
What do we do to connect? Will a text be enough to build a friendship that will last over the years and the rough roads that we may face? Are we strong enough to reach out to those we don’t know? Being in our comfort zone can be rather easy. Do we see a point in going through such an effort? Do we want to bother? What about those we have lost touch with? Why not call or stop in. Yes it can be awkward, but are we that sensitive and not going to try?
We may see folks at church. We may recognize their face or have served with them on a committee at one time. Do we know today what they may need? Is it a hand with a project? A smile that lets them know they are not forgotten? Or a specific prayer request for family or special needs that they are facing?
Mission Sunday is needed to remind all of us of the mission field and that it is out there and at the same time right here. The mission is Jesus. He is hope, Good News and Love (of neighbor) that is needed to be witnessed to each and every day in the mission field that we find ourselves in and in a special way our homes and in the sacrament of Marriage that forms the homes we come from and are meant to build up for the glory of God.