World Mission Sunday
October 22, 2017
Catholics everywhere recognize October as Respect Life month AND the month of the Rosary. However, many Catholics do not know that it is also World Missionary month!
In 1926, Pope Pius XI instituted World Mission Sunday. On this day, Catholics gather to celebrate the Eucharist and to contribute to a collection for the work of evangelization around the world. This annual celebration gives us an opportunity to reflect on the importance of mission work for the life of the Church.
Why World Mission Sunday? According to the Second Vatican Council, the Church is missionary in her very nature because her founder, Jesus Christ, was the first missionary. God the Father sent God the Son into the world with a message of God’s love and salvation. Therefore, the evangelization mission of the Church is the proclamation of God's love, mercy, forgiveness, and salvation.
This celebration reminds us that we are one with Christ and the Church around the world. We are all committed to carrying on the mission of Christ in our unique situations.
There is a striking story about a remote area in western Sudan. Expatriate missionaries, primarily ordained priests, brothers and sisters, had labored there for many years with few visible results. Eventually, expatriate lay missionaries, both married and single, came to that area. Suddenly, many Sudanese people began converting to Catholicism. A Sudanese elder explained: "When we saw the priests and Sisters living separately and alone, we didn't want to be like them. But when we saw Catholic families -- men, women and children -- living happily together, we wanted to be like them."
The most powerful way to preach is to manifest love, mercy, kindness, compassion and a spirit of forgiveness and service. As lay people, you can be very effective missionaries in your own daily life.
Prayer is a powerful means of missionary work. Because God alone is Holy, holiness of life comes from the presence of God within us. Jesus reminds us, “Without me you can do nothing.” It is absolutely necessary that we welcome Jesus into our own life through prayer.
Missionary efforts also require much financial support. Oftentimes, the love of God can only be witnessed to the poor by providing them with food, medicine and means of livelihood. Please generously support the Church’s missionary activities throughout the world. Envelopes are in the pews, or you may donate on our website, www.saintmartinoftours.com, with a credit or debit card. Be sure to indicate World Mission Sunday. Thank you for your support.