"I would like to encourage everyone to be a bearer of the good news of Christ and I am grateful especially to missionaries.... – who by accepting the Lord's call, leave their homeland to serve the Gospel in different lands and cultures." Pope Francis Message for World Mission Day 2013
Missions are kind of a big deal...If you didn't know that already. The Catholic Church and practically all Christian churches are all stressing the importance of World Missions Sunday. Well, what the heck is it? onefamilymission.org says that, "it is a day set aside for Catholics worldwide to recommit themselves to the Church's missionary activity through prayer and sacrifice."
At Intake, we faithfully read Pope John Paul II's Encyclical called Mission of the Redeemer (if you're feeling fancy - in Latin: Redemptoris Missio). This work by JPII is getting me super pumped up about Missions. He says in the encyclical that World Missions Day is a day in "which seeks to heighten awareness of the missions, as well as to collect funds for them, is an important date in the life of the Church, because it teaches how to give: as an offering made to God, in the Eucharistic celebration and for all the missions of the world." In this encyclical he says that the church is in the "new springtime" but Catholic Foreign Missionaries in the world are decreasing and the "missionary drive has always been a sign of vitality, just as its lessening is a sign of a crisis of faith." Honestly, we have a sick Church. Our Director, Joseph says that if our church was healthy we would have foreign and stateside missionaries in every parish and in every diocese throughout the world proclaiming the Gospel and serving the poor.
So I've gathered that this is the point of World Missions Day: to remind the church the importance of Missions, to renew the zeal for the Gospel, to increase knowledge of Missionary activity throughout the world, and to remind the Church that we are ALL called to be Missionaries.
In the time of the Apostles, being a missionary was a normal vocation and the entire church was missionary through witness of personal conduct and through proclaiming the Gospel whenever and wherever they could. Pope Francis even says that, "Everyone should be able to experience the joy of being loved by God, the joy of salvation! It is a gift that one cannot keep to oneself, but it is to be shared. If we want to keep it only to ourselves, we will become isolated, sterile and sick Christians. The proclamation of the Gospel is part of being disciples of Christ and it is a constant commitment that animates the whole life of the Church."
So if we, the church, do not act as the Apostles did and proclaim the Gospel - we are not being good Christians. We are withholding truth and goodness from those who have yet to hear the good news.
On this world missions sunday weekend, remember that we are in the New Springtime of our Church, we are ALL called to be missionaries - whether you are stateside or foreign, and it is our duty as Catholic's to proclaim the Good News of Salvation to all those who have never heard of it before!
So Church, I'm talking to all you fellow Catholic people, get off your tuckus and DO something!!! There are SOO many videos and writings made by many great Saints and Popes and little baby lay missionaries like me who have an abundance of information about the urgency of missionary activity. So the resources and tools are out there, now it's your chance to getcha-self educated. Everyone of every culture, race, and belief have respect for Pope Francis so let's listen to this holy man when he says for us to make a mess of things!
Let's not be lukewarm or mundane; let's be SAINTS!
"The Missionary is the Saint"