Reflection: 2015 World Mission Sunday

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
World Mission Sunday
18 October 2015
Mark 10:35-45
"...whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all..."

Those who follow Christ cannot fail to be missionaries, for they know that Jesus "walks w them, speaks to them, breaths with them. They sense Jesus alive with them in the midst of the missionary enterprise" (Evangelii Gaudium 266)

Mission is a passion for Jesus & at the same time a passion for his people...within this complex dynamic, we ask ourselves:"Who are the 1st to whom the Gospel message must be proclaimed?" The answer, found so often throughout the Gospel, is clear: it is the poor, the little ones & the sick, those who are often looked down upon or forgotten, those who cannot repay us. Evangelization directed preferentially to the least among us is a sign of the Kingdom that Jesus came to bring...

- Pope Francis, "Message for World Mission Sunday 2015," Vatican, 24 May 2015

Christ defines his saving mission as a service whose highest expression will be the sacrifice of his life for mankind. "For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, & to give his life as a ransom for many." These words, spoken to counter the disciples' tendency to seek the first place in the kingdom, are primarily meant to awaken in them a new mentality, w/c conforms more closely to that of the Teacher...but in saying he had come "to serve", he shows a disturbing aspect of God's behavior: although he has the right & power to make himself served, he puts himself "at the service" of his creatures. Jesus expresses this desire to serve in an eloquent & moving way at the Last Supper when he washes his disciples' feet: a symbolic act w/c will be impressed as a rule of life on their memory for ever:"You also ought to wash one another's feet."...He is the only teacher from whom we must learn; the only Lord in whom we should depend; the only Head to whom we should be united & the only model that we should imitate...

- St. John Paul II,"Jesus Gave His Life as a Ransom for Many," General Audience, February 4, 1998

May of this year as I served at Walk to Emmaus in Hong Kong I met fr. Bill, a Maryknoll missionary & dear classmate of fr. Jim Ferry, our professor in liturgy way back in the seminary. I do not anymore believe in coincidence for nothing comes by chance when it comes to God's Grace. Fr. Bill is very active with the China Mission. He is in his 80's now & China mainland is a communist country & no one can openly evangelize without getting arrested. I also met Sr. Anastasia, a young Indonesian Maryknoll missionary based in the mainland. They have brave lay partners in the mainland. I can only dream & imagine of China Mission. 

Back here at home the World Mission magazine & the works of many of our missionaries has continuously inspired me & countless others. Our country is the fruit of the sacrifices of many missionaries for the past hundreds of years & the wonderful Grace of God's love in spite of the human weakness & ambitions of the Friars. 

Our OFWs now are bringing our Faith to Europe & other parts of the world including China! They are millions & we are known as the new Irish bec of our Faith. God is truly amazing! I was told that some trans parochial communities are now sending families on mission to China & the rest of the globe. We have to remember that we are the 1st Christian nation in Asia & our laity has to step up to the challenge. 

We have to keep the fire of mission burning in our hearts. Mission is a big passion of the heart of Jesus. Every baptized has to be part of mission & the Church is always in state of mission. We are good w social media & we have to encourage young people to use their gifts in pushing the borders of evangelization through the new media! 

Do you support the mission of the Church & our missionaries?
Is your personal ambition a priority before the Plan of God?
Is your heart still burning w fire for mission or is it dead cold?
Are you willing to serve the least, the last & the lost?
Do you have the latest copy of World Mission Magazine?

Fr. Greg Somar - The Philippines

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