Archive for the ‘Missions’ Category

Mission Sunday

July 3, 2011

[We have a missionary from Haiti joining us this Sunday, therefore the homily is abbreviated so as to give time for the mission appeal.  May God bless the work of all missionaries; may they bear much fruit and lead many souls to Jesus Christ!]

“You are in the Spirit if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.”  These words of Saint Paul from our second reading are a reminder to all of us that we have been set apart for Christ through our Baptism.  At our Baptism, we were claimed for Christ; at our Baptism we were made members of the mystical Body of Christ, the Church; at our Baptism, we receive the Holy Spirit into our souls for the first time and are made sons and daughters of God.

When we were baptized, certain promises were made on our behalf, or if we were baptized as adults we ourselves made certain promises.  We promised to reject sin and to follow Christ.  That is the very definition of what it means to be a Christian: to be a follower of Christ.  In Baptism, we not only receive the Holy Spirit, we also receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  One of the gifts that we receive at Baptism is the gift of faith.  That gift is given to us, and yet it has to be cultivated as we continue to learn about our Catholic Faith and put that faith into practice.  Faith is a gift that is meant to be lived; it is a gift that we are meant to share with others.  Through our Baptism, we have received a mission: we are called to bear witness to Christ in the world.  We don’t all have to go to the missions to fulfill that calling; we are called to bear witness to the love of God in our day-to-day lives.  We are called to live the love that God has created us for; we are to be instruments that bring God’s love to our families and to our friends and even to our enemies.  We are called to reflect God’s love to everyone that we meet.

This Sunday, we are focused in a particular way on the missions.  The missions are an important way that the Gospel message is shared with those who would not otherwise have access to Faith in Jesus Christ.  We are all called, as baptized Christians to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with others.  We are to do that personally with those whom we encounter; we can also help to spread the Gospel through our support of missionaries who take the Gospel to other places.  We have a missionary with us this afternoon that has spent several years in the missions, and he will take just a few minutes to share a little bit about the missions with us and how we can help.  There are envelopes at the end of the pews designated for help for the missions.