CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 10 November 2018

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To be attracted and to be sent 

Together with young people, let us bring the gospel to all, the theme for this years’ World Mission Sunday, echoes that of the ongoing Synod of Bishops, which started on October 3 and will conclude on October 28 at the Vatican, whose theme is Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.
 
World Mission Sunday, organised by the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith calls on all the Catholics worldwide to recommit themselves by acknowledging and appreciating the place of young people in the mission of the Church and to support them through prayer and sacrifice. The Church reminds all the faithful without exception to participate in this mission. 
 
Mission Sunday is often misunderstood as a time to send financial assistance to foreign missions through the Congregation for the Propagation of Faith. It leads many Catholics to donate indeed generously for the missions and be content with their contributions. The people of God all over the world have been generously supporting the missionary activities of the Church. Nevertheless, when we really look at our personal missionary efforts, we have to acknowledge that we do not go to the “ends of the earth!”
 
Perhaps, Mission Sundays calls for a much greater responsibility than an annual financial contribution. The young people who believe in Christ must use their youthfulness in sharing the joy of the gospel. It is time parents pay attention and encourage and guide their children towards greater participation in the mission of the Church. This is not just an invitation, rather it is a duty and commandment. The stark reality, however, is that our missio ad gentes is not truly “catholic” because we are not reaching out to everyone, everywhere. 
 
In the message addressed to all Christians, but specifically calling on young people, Pope Francis reminds us that “we are not in this world by our own choice,” and hence there is “an initiative that precedes us and makes us exist.”  Each one of us, he says, is called to reflect on the fact that “I am a mission on this Earth,” and that is the reason why we are here in this world. 
 
In his message, the Holy Father stressed that each person has a mission in life and the Church proclaims Christ’s message and shares with young people “the way and truth which give meaning to our life on this earth.”
 
World Mission Sunday, instituted by Pope Pius XI for the whole Church in 1926 with the first worldwide collection taking place in October 1927, is celebrated annually on the second-to-last Sunday in October.     
 
It raises funds for more than 1,000 mission projects around the world and is celebrated in all the local Churches as a feat of catholicity and universal solidarity so Christians the world over will recognise their common responsibility with regard to the evangelisation of the world.
 
The Holy Father wrote in his message for Mission Sunday that “Every man and woman is a mission; that is the reason for our life on this earth. To be attracted and to be sent are two movements that our hearts, especially when we are young, feel as interior forces of love; they hold out promise for our future and they give direction to our lives. More than anyone else, young people feel the power of life breaking in upon us and attracting us.” Let us be moved by these interior forces of love! jose