Baptized and Sent — we are marked for Mission

| Deacon Mickey Friesen | October 9, 2019 | 0 Comments

Sometimes, things happen in life that leave a permanent mark. Some people retain a mark from their birth. Others carry a permanent mark from an accident or injury. Some marks are visible to the eye while others remain invisible, but they mark our souls for life. There are people who can leave a permanent mark on us because of the way they care for us or inspire us. We also talk about wanting to leave a permanent mark on the world. Some permanent marks can scar us while others become signs of new life.

Some years ago, I had back surgery after an injury and living with chronic pain for several months. The surgery renewed my life, but it did leave a permanent mark on my back. When people see it, they ask me how I got that scar, but I tell them it is not a scar, but a sign of new life.

In the realm of faith, we believe that the sacrament of baptism leaves a permanent mark of grace. It marks us forever with the sign of faith. We are marked with the new life and mission of Christ. We are marked as missionary disciples to follow Jesus way of love and peace, healing and compassion, mercy and justice. The Church is marked for mission because that is the way that God is. Our God is a missionary God!

This year, Pope Francis has called for an extraordinary month of mission in October to enliven and renew our baptismal call to make the life and mission of Jesus known and loved. We have been permanently marked with the sign of the cross and the sign of peace so that we might be living signs of Christ in our world. We are baptized and sent.

During the month of October, we will join in solidarity with Catholics around the world to focus our missionary spirit. It is a time for us to pray and reflect on God’s word that calls us to give witness to Christ in our daily life. We can remember those holy men and women of faith who have given themselves to serving Christ’s mission around the world. We can also join in solidarity with the mission Church today by giving to the World Mission Sunday appeal that supports the young and developing Churches in 1150 mission dioceses across 120 countries.

In the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the Center for Mission serves as a living bridge between us and the Church around the world. We partner with all Catholic dioceses on the planet for the common purpose of helping the mission Church to be planted and grown. We also bring home the many stories of how the Gospel is being shared in new places. It is a sharing of lives and prayer. It is a sharing of communion and service together. It is a sharing that strives to realize our identity as brothers and sisters in Christ. There is much good news for us to hear and be inspired by.

We are baptized for mission. It is in our Christian nature to go forth to love and serve the Lord. Let us be open to that missionary spirit which marks us personally and as members of the Church…baptized and sent.

Deacon Friesen is director of the Center for Mission in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

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Category: World Mission Sunday