Today is a double celebration of mission – with our Catholic communities around the world ‘Mission Sunday’, and our Christian Churches in ‘One World Week’. We pray for the peace of Christ and the truth of the Gospel to spread everywhere.
The Church has been on mission since its foundation on the feast of Pentecost in the year of the Lord’s death and resurrection. We recall the apostles filled with the Holy Spirit, sharing their faith in the risen Christ with their fellow Israelites. That mission has continued for nearly 2,000 years and we think with gratitude of the men and women who have left all to follow Christ and take the faith throughout the world. But we also feel a similar gratitude for the good men and women who never went anywhere except home, church, workplace, neighbourhood, but who shared their faith and inspired others by their quiet sincerity and support. We all have known saints.
On World Mission Day we recognise, anew, the wonderful truth that God includes all of us in the Church’s mission . . . and we remember all who have inspired us by their goodness, dedication and example.
A tiny example. A friend of mine, some years ago, was given a fairly large sum of money as a gift. It was near Christmas time. He thought of people in the neighbourhood and the Church who would be glad of a little help. One evening he went around the homes and put envelopes through the letterboxes. He wasn’t caught and a long time later he told me of how grateful he was that he could do something for God and people. That’s Gospel.
So is this. In our parish was a family where there simply was no money for now. No debt, no long-term worry, but there was nothing. Our good man told God that he would never pray for money but he could do with a little help. He came home and found a brown envelope. It was a tax rebate from last year! He was thrilled and so was I when he told me and of how he was going to share what God and the Inland Revenue had given him. Share the joy and fun.
God bless us,