Did God give YOU a special purpose for the world?
Can you be a missionary without traveling somewhere?
Have you been commissioned by God with a special purpose? The answer is YES! All Christians are called to participate in the mission of Jesus Christ as we hear from Matthew 18:19: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” Just as the Apostles were sent out to spread the Good News, we also have a role to play in God’s plan of salvation. For some it will be prayerful support. Others will be called to leave home and family to witness to Jesus and the Gospel in foreign lands. Still others will share from their resources to help missionaries or in outreach to the poor and needy. But we all play a part, and no one’s role is too small.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux is considered the patroness of the missions, yet she never left her cloistered Carmelite convent in France. So how could this saint, nicknamed the Little Flower, be considered a great missionary? For one thing her entire life, her heart, mind and soul was about bringing people to Christ. Always united to God in prayer, she would offer up her sufferings for the good of souls and the salvation of all. She would write to and encourage missionaries, keeping them constantly in her prayers. Thérèse is a model for us of how we can live a missionary life even if we are unable to leave our homes to carry Christ’s word to others.
Once a year throughout the world, the Catholic Church celebrates World Mission Sunday. This next-to-last Sunday each October offers a time to remember that all Christians are called to be missionaries. On that Sunday we celebrate that we are commissioned to go out to the world to bring the Good News. There is also a collection taken up for the missions of the Church on World Mission Sunday. This collection on behalf of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, one of the Pope's mission societies, benefits some 1,100 mission dioceses, mostly in Africa and Asia, but also in Oceania (Pacific Islands) and parts of Latin America and Europe.
Let us thank the Lord that he has found us worthy to be a part of His mission. Christ sends us out to spread the Gospel and bring people to salvation. Let us contribute to the salvific works of the Church by our prayers, sacrifices and generous gifts. Like the Little Flower, may we always be united to God in the promotion of the missions. St. Thérèse of Lisieux, pray for us!
MISSIO offers themed-quizzes in MissioBot to examine your religious knowledge - and this blog by Father Leo Perez, OMI to reflect on questions of mission and faith.