Mission Revitalises Faith

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As Mission Month draws to a close, we remember the words of Saint John Paul II,  “Mission revitalizes faith” (Redemptoris Missio, 2).

While the purpose of Mission Month was to raise awareness of the evangelising efforts of Irish missionaries abroad, it has also been an opportunity for us to reflect on the various ways in which each of us are called to mission.

In the words of Pope Francis, “Evangelization takes place in obedience to the missionary mandate of Jesus: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19-20). ~ Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”)

The word missionary is commonly understood to refer to men and women, usually consecrated, who leave the lands of their birth to spread the Gospel to people who had not heard or accepted it. They are ambassadors of Christ.

These men and women did so in many different ways: according to their talents, the needs of the mission territory, and the charism of the religious congregation they belonged to.

Our OLA sisters were called specifically for mission in Africa and their focus has been on women and children, the most vulnerable. They built schools and hospitals, some sacrificing their very lives in service of their faith and calling. They continue their work, in Africa and here in Ireland.

The word missionary is no longer defined in such narrow terms. Missionary work does not require that we travel to far off lands or that we require specific training. Our mission begins where we are, in our homes, our schools, our workplaces and our local communities

Mission is at the very heart of the message of the bible. Priests and Religious are called to live their vocation, however, every baptised person is called to mission. We are, by virtue of our baptism, obliged to be missionaries.

Jesus commanded us to love one another, and it is through this love that we are able to fulfil our mission. All of life is ministry.