Let us remember that the Church exists to evangelize. The Church, which is you and I, is missionary by nature. Through our baptism, we were baptized into this body of Christ, the Church. For better or for worse, we are symbols of Jesus Christ in the world. It is therefore our mission, our very lifeblood to see Mission Sunday, not as an outsider, but as someone called to be on mission.
Sadly, in the Church today many Catholics have been sacramentalized but not catechized: baptized but not formed in the teaching of Jesus and his Church. A certain lethargy has attached itself to the Church, making many of us spiritually anemic, reluctant to share faith with others. Almost like parasites, we eagerly receive the sacraments and other riches of the Church, but we hesitate to share it with others. We listen to God’s Word, but are reluctant to proclaim it ourselves. We must ask ourselves, why? Is it because the Word of God has not embedded itself within us? Does Jesus mean anyone or anything to us at all?
An old principle goes: we cannot give to others what we do not have ourselves. Hence we need first of all to be “missionized.” lf our Christianity is only a matter of rules and regulations like going to Church on Sundays and not eating meat on Fridays; if our faith is only a matter of convenience and not of conviction; if Christ is only a statue and not a person whom we really know, then we are certainly thinking and viewing Mission Sunday as an outsider. We will end up with excuses saying: “Not me, I am too busy; I am too afraid, I don’t know to talk to others about Christ.”
We need to have the faith level conviction in our intellect and in our heart. Once that happens, we will need no urging to witness to Christ. We will feel impelled from within to celebrate and share the life of Jesus. We must begin today because now is the acceptable moment of salvation. In our own corner of the world, let us light the lamp of Christ by what we say and how we live, by what we believe and what we stand for, and by the attitudes we manifest. Let these be seen and heard loud and clear at home, in our study and work place, in our neighborhood, and particularly with those who do not share our faith. May the people around us begin to see a difference in our lives, and let that difference be Christ himself. After all, he is there to inspire us every step of the way. Let us not forget that with his great commission: “Go make disciples of all nations,” we also have his great promise: “Know that I am with you always until the end of time.”
Mission Sunday is a day to thank God for our faith. Christ expects each one of us to never let a day pass without proclaiming God’s message of salvation to those around us. None of us can say that we cannot be a good Christian, that we cannot pray, that we cannot offer to God our crosses for the salvation of our brothers and sisters. If we try, we shall discover that we can help to spread the kingdom of God far more that we think.
Let us keep in mind that there is no shorter way to heaven than helping others to reach there. And so, as we worship God today, let us pray we may have the courage to shout out and offer to all those around us Christ and his message of salvation for Christ is our lifeblood and theirs as well.