How are you being called to join in God’s mission?

| Deacon Mickey Friesen | October 10, 2013 | 0 Comments


We recently had a visit from Deacon George Bowder, a representative from the Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska. The territory of this diocese is larger than the state of Texas and offers many logistical challenges to reach people in villages scattered across this harsh tundra.

And yet, people are hungry for the Gospel and the chance to celebrate the sacraments.

Fairbanks is the only diocese in the United States still listed as mission territory and, thus, it receives direct support from us through our giving to the Pontifical Mission Societies on World Mission Sunday.

Deacon George said there are two sides to sharing the gift of faith in mission.

Some give to God’s mission by going to foreign lands and bringing the Gospel. And, there are some who go to the missions by giving what they have to make it possible for others to go. Both are needed for mission.

Giving thanks

On World Mission Sunday, Oct. 20, we celebrate the going and the giving of our faith.

We can give thanks for those who have inspired us and led us to Christ by their words and deeds. It is a gift to be able to receive the peace, love and mercy of Christ in our hearts. The gift of faith sustains us and gives meaning to all we encounter each day. It is hard for me to calculate the witness of my family, my pastors and my spiritual friends who have encouraged me along the journey of faith.

We can also give thanks for those who have answered the call to reach beyond the comforts of their homes, their culture or their language by going to bring Christ to others.

Consider the efforts of Sister Clara and the Salesian Sisters in Chennai, India, who go out into the streets to rescue children forced to live as modern slaves of the sex trade and harsh labor practices.

The sisters make real Christ’s mission to “bring good news to the poor and liberty to captives” (Luke 4:18). They provide a safe and caring home, education and opportunities to heal from their trauma, regain their dignity and build a better life. These efforts are supported by us when we give on World Mission Sunday.

Sharing in the mission

And we must give thanks for those who make it possible for missionaries to go at all.

We all have a share in God’s continuing mission by offering our generous prayer, time and financial gifts. We become the other side of the gift of faith that is shared.

Whether we are receiving the good news or sharing it with others, it is a marvel to see how God is working in the world through us who go and give in faith.

Together we make the gift possible and do good on earth.

Consider how you are being called to participate in God’s mission — to go and to give — and be generous in your response.

See in the following stories how some are responding today. We are making it possible for the Good News to reach the ends of the earth.

Deacon Mickey Friesen is director of the archdiocesan Center for Mission.

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Category: World Mission Sunday