Mission In The Spirit Of Sacrifice And Love
Readings: 1st: Is 53, 10-11; Ps: 32; 2nd: Heb 4, 14-16; Gos: Mk 10, 35-43
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
Today is World Mission Sunday. The church invites us to reflect on our personal response, to Christ’s mission. It is a special day to revitalize our faith, and to rededicate ourselves to Christ’s mission. It is also, a day to show special solidarity to all true missionaries who have responded to Christ mandate: “Go, make disciples of all nations.”
Today, the Holy Father, Pope Francis reminds us that: “Every man and woman is a mission. That is the reason for our life on this earth…. Each one of us is called to reflect on this fact: ‘I am a mission on this earth. That is the reason why I am here in this world’ (Evangelii Gaudium, 273).”
To young people Pope Francis adds: “You too, young friends, by your baptism you have become living members of the Church. Together, we have received the mission to bring the Gospel to everyone…To share in the mission to the ends of the earth demands the gift of oneself…I dare to say that, for a young man or woman who wants to follow Christ, what is most essential is to seek, to discover and to persevere in his or her vocation.”
In today’s gospel, through his dialogue with his disciples, Jesus opens our eyes to the realities that confront us in mission. By asking them: “Can you drink the cup that I must drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I must be baptized,” Jesus reminds us of the challenges ahead of us in His mission.
Mission is service and sacrifice rendered in love for the salvation of all nations. This love comes with patience and docility to the will of God. It begins by transforming the missionary into a great instrument for the salvation of others. So, today Christ teaches us that to be great is to be ready to serve and to make sacrifice for others.
Hence, Isaiah reminds us that: “By his sufferings, my servant shall justify many, taking their faults on himself.” So, through service and sacrifice, we shall find attain our own salvation. By liberating others, we shall liberate ourselves. By giving peace to others, we shall find our own peace. And, by identifying with others, Christ, shall identifies with us.
As we celebrate Mission Sunday today, the voice of salvation continues to call us to be
more faithful to God’s mission both in us and in others. It reminds us of the great challenges before us today us in God’s mission. This includes, our changing cultures, societies and lifestyle that must be urgently evangelized and redeemed.
The good news is that, we can overcome these challenges through the spirit of sacrifice and love. So, in the midst of all these challenges, we must find consolation in these words from the letter to the Hebrews: “Let us be confident, then in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall find mercy and grace when we are in need of help.”
This grace is sufficient for us to accomplish God’s mission. Therefore, with the psalmist, let us pray: “Lord, let your love be upon us, as we place our trust in you.”
Peace be with you!