Mission Sunday 2014
“THAT YOU MAY HAVE LIFE”
On May 5th 2013, Pope Francis urged Christians:
“Be missionaries of God’s love, tenderness and mercy”.
In July, the encyclical “Light of Faith” explained that
“those who have opened their hearts to God’s love, heard his voice and received his light cannot keep this gift to themselves.”
October is Mission Month, the time when we highlight the sharing of the Good News of Christ as a fundamental element of our Christian call. “This month must be regarded in all countries as the Month of Universal Mission. The penultimate Sunday, proclaimed as World Mission Day, is the high point of the month.” (Congregation of Rites 1926)
“World Mission Day, 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” (Redemptoris Missio 81)
World Missions Ireland is the vehicle of this communion, bringing the prayers, solidarity and financial help of the Church in Ireland to Christian communities in other parts of the world, especially those in greatest need.
The theme “That You May Have Life” (John 10:10) has a particular resonance among Irish people in recent years. Many people have lost their jobs, their security for old age; they have experienced the pain of emigration, of separation and stress of all sorts. Many live with uncertainty and sadness, seeking a meaning to life.
Mission month provides us with an opportunity to reach out here at home, in order to assure our neighbours that their pain has not gone unnoticed. Being missionary is bringing Christ to others, proclaiming in our behaviour the dignity, specialness and beauty of every human life, while allowing ourselves to be touched and guided in our daily lives by the values of the Gospel. Our daily choices bring either life to others and ourselves, or they result in darkness.
Mission month directs us primarily to foreign shores, to that part of the Body of Christ often lacking in material resources. Unfortunately, in our world we often find God’s children suffering because of wars, hunger or a lack of trust between nations, religions and peoples. It is hard to imagine that in 2014 we are living in a world where c. 16,000 babies are dying every day from malnutrition and nearly one billion people going to bed hungry every night. Let us be conscious of this suffering in the Body of Christ during Mission Month as we unite ourselves with all of God’s people around the Eucharist on Mission Sunday.
You are also invited to join God’s children in prayer on Friday October 10th 2014 when we celebrate the National Day of Prayer for Children. It is a unique opportunity to bring children together in prayer for each other and for their brothers and sisters in need. The Pontifical Society for Missionary Children promotes the unique concept of Children helping Children, by challenging children to share with and pray for children in poorer countries.