October 21, 2012
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.”
“Jesus came forward and addressed them in these words: ‘Full authority has been given to me…; go, therefore and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!” (Gospel of Matthew, 28:18-20)
This last statement of Jesus at the very end of the Gospel of St. Matthew is the beginning of our call to receive God’s love given to us through Jesus in his Church beginning with Baptism. We are then called to return God’s love by worshipping him in the Sacraments and serving others for His glory – that is our mission.
The late Pope John Paul II had reminded us that every Catholic has the “privilege”, “grace” and “obligation” to take part in the global effort for evangelization. Through our prayers, our personal and financial sacrifices, through the Propagation of the Faith, we affect the lives and faith of people throughout the world.
Fact: St. Therese of Lisieux, the “Little Flower” who is depicted in our statue in the back of church, never went to the “missions” but she offered up her crosses to God, both physical and psychological, in order to obtain blessings of faith for those who did not know Christ. She is the patroness of the missions, with St. Francis Xavier as patron.
Fact: Catholics now number about 1.3 billion people, about 19% of the world’s population. To reach the other 7 billion with the Good News of Jesus Christ – the one Savior of the world- the missionary task must be a shared responsibility by each one of us.
Fact: The Propagation of the Faith was founded 189 years ago. Its first support in 1822 was divided equally for missions inChina and the young Church here in theUnited States (Louisiana andKentucky).
Your contribution to World Mission Sunday, this weekend of October 20 and 21 is helping the Propagation of the Faith – the Church’s central means and organization of support for the missions – to proclaim the love, compassion and truth of Jesus’ saving grace found in the sacraments. The Word of God became flesh in the womb of Mary and made his dwelling among us. The Son of God is now the son of Mary made flesh in the Eucharist to sustain life and bring eternal life to all those who believe, “And know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!” Mt 28:20.
As baptized disciples and missionaries of Jesus Christ and his Church, let us rejoice in this call to know God’s infinite love and salvation in Jesus Christ, and pass on the Good News by serving others – for this is the call of evangelization.
Fr. Thomas McCabe