Mission in the Spirit of Sacrifice and Love
Readings: 1st: Jer 31, 7-9; Ps 125; 2nd: Heb 5, 1-6; Gos: Mk 10, 46-52
This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. He was the chancellor of the Diocese of Fajardo Humacao, Puerto Rico. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at 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, reminds us “That mission has always been the hallmark of the Church, for ‘she exists to evangelize.’ Our life of faith grows weak, loses its prophetic power and its ability to awaken amazement and gratitude when we become isolated and withdraw into little groups. By its very nature, the life of faith calls for a growing openness to embracing everyone, everywhere” (Pope Francis, Message for World Mission Sunday, 2021).
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.
Today’s gospel, has a lot to teach us. We see the blind and poor Bartimaeus yearning for healing and liberation. He will not let this opportunity pass him by. So, like a drowning man, he cried out for help: “Jesus, Son of David have pity on me!”
The blind Bartimaeus represents our collective human situation that is constantly yearning for healing and liberation from weakness, sickness, poverty and sin. Our blindness might not necessarily be the physical loss of vision. However, it could be whatever that limits and prevents us from reaching, or maximizing our potentials in life.
To be free from these limitations, first, we must humbly acknowledge that they exist. Second, it is interesting to note that, Bartimaeus did not believe because he was cured. Rather, he was cured because he believed, and humbly cried out for help. So, seeing his faith, Christ said to him: “Your faith has cured you.” There is a simple saying that: “If you are not tired of praying, God is not tired of listing to you.”
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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 as Pope Francis tells us today that, “Love is always on the move, and inspires us to share a wonderful and hope-filled message: “We have found the Messiah” (Jn 1:41). Happy Mission Sunday!
Peace be with you!