On this World Mission Sunday, let us thank God for the gift of faith
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 18, 2020): IS 45:1,4-6; PS 96:1,3,4-5,7-8,9-10; 1 THES 1:1-5; MT 22:15-21
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
The faith that is so precious to us needs to be shared with people of many lands. In these trying times, we all have many demands made on us. Yet we need to recognize the essential nature of our lives as Catholics.
For many decades, the Church has recognized the work of its missions and petitioned on their behalf on World Mission Sunday. Today we again thank God for His mercy on all missionaries and the people they serve around the world. From the earliest days of the Church, those who believe in Jesus as the Son of God and our Redeemer have gone to the ends of the earth to spread the Good News. St. Paul reassured these believers, telling them, “We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ.… For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3, 5). Just as the Holy Spirit guided the efforts of Paul and the other faithful disciples who set out to reveal the love and sacrifice of Christ, the Spirit does the same two thousand years later. Jesus came to claim us for Himself with life everlasting. And He has not yet finished His work of evangelization.
The faith that is so precious to us needs to be shared with people of many lands. In these trying times, we all have many demands made on us. Yet we need to recognize the essential nature of our lives as Catholics. In the Gospel today, some of Jesus’ enemies try to set a trap for Him by asking whether or not they should pay taxes to the Romans. But they are themselves carrying coins with Caesar’s image; they have already made their own decisions. Our Lord says, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God” (Matthew 22:21). In fact, everything, every shred of our universe, belongs to God our Creator. We must decide how to use the gifts God has granted us to honor Him and serve His people. As followers of Christ, He wants us to let those around us and around the whole world know Him and His incomparable blessings. Day by day, let us do our share.
Suggested missionary action: Each day, and on this World Mission Sunday most especially, let us answer the Lord’s call to mission, “Here I am, send me,” as we share our belief in Christ in word and witness, in prayer and sacrifice. Let us pray for missionaries, and for those with whom they share our faith in Christ. Let us celebrate the work of the Church’s many faithful and generous missionaries by regularly supporting their efforts, especially on this World Mission Sunday.