Pope Francis celebrated Mass on World Mission Sunday (October 20th) and in his homily, he challenges us to reflect on the meaning of our mission. See full text HERE
Below is a prayerful litany created from his words, as a signpost for our life journey on mission. This should be read in the context of the full article.
Life as mission and as gift
Mission begins on the mountain
God’s favourite place for encountering humanity.
The place where Jesus spent several hours in prayer
to unite heaven and earth
and to unite us,
His brothers and sisters, with the Father.
The mountain tells us we are called
to draw near to God and to others.
The mountain unites God and our brothers and sisters
in a single embrace of prayer.
It summons us to rediscover what is essential
and lasting: God and our brothers and sisters.
There we discover what really counts.
To what peaks do I want to ascend?
To go up…..
We were not born to remain on the ground.
We were born to reach the heights.
To meet God and our brothers and sisters.
This means we have “to go up”.
It is the only way to get a better view of everything.
The secret of mission: is ‘to go up’.
But you have to leave something behind.
To proclaim, you must first renounce.
‘To go up’ are we able to reject the
useless baggage of worldliness
in order to climb the mountain of the Lord?
‘To go up’ tells us how to get there.
No one is excluded from His heart,
because everyone is a precious treasure.
The meaning of life is found only in giving
this treasure to others.
This is our mission.
To go up the mountain to pray for everyone,
and to come down from the mountain
to be a gift to all.
Those who bear witness to Jesus
go out to all,
not just to their own acquaintances,
or their little group.
‘Make disciples’, not your own,
but ‘His disciples’.
Give pure and fresh air to those immersed
in the pollution of our world.
Witness, bless, console, raise up,
and radiate the beauty of Jesus.
Your life is a precious mission.
It is not a burden to be borne,
but a gift to offer.
Let us fearlessly go forth to all!
Note: In 1926, Pope Pius XI decided the Church needed a special day on which to pray for missionaries, and to renew her commitment to the missions. Today, World Mission Day is celebrated on the penultimate Sunday in October, all around the globe, as a sign of support and solidarity for missions and missionaries everywhere.
In 2017, Pope Francis proclaimed October 2019 an Extraordinary Missionary Month, marking the centenary of Pope Benedict XV’s apostolic letter Maximum Illud inspired by Jesus’ Great Commission: ‘Go throughout the whole world and preach the gospel to all mankind’ (Mark 16:18).
The response to Pope Francis’ Extraordinary Missionary Month has been hugely successful in the Catholic Church across the world. With more than 2,000 Irish men and women currently working in foreign mission and with World Missions Ireland coordinating events in dioceses, parishes, schools, communities, religious orders, and congregations throughout the country, Ireland has certainly been an enthusiastic participant. See World Missions Ireland Resources