From the Pastor
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time – A
October 22, 2017
As I said in my article on the orations ‘For the Evangelization of Peoples’ [Set A] on this Sunday back in 2013, the first World
Sunday was in 1926. It was instituted by Pope Pius XI
to prod Catholics to pray for and support all who bring Christ to those who do not know Him. This led to many missionaries
who left the comforts of our great country to bring the Gospel to poor and undeveloped pagan countries. However, in recent years, America has become ‘mission territory’
– for many people, even those who call themselves Christian and are even baptized and confirmed, do not know Christ or His Church!
That’s why I chose for this article’s clipart the image of a mirror … even though we cannot see ourselves in this ‘paper mirror.’ And that’s the problem: we do not see ourselves as missionaries commissioned by God to bring Him to those who never knew – or no longer know Him! Not that we need to travel to far, exotic lands to find those who do not know Christ or His Church; they are often our co-workers or neighbors, relatives or friends, classmates or playmates; some even live under our own roof! As you pray the orations For the Evangelization of Peoples [Set B] consider how you can fulfill your call to be a missionary.
Collect – For the Evangelization of Peoples
O God, you have willed that your Church
be the sacrament of salvation for all nations,
so that Christ’s saving work may continue
to the end of the ages; stir up, we pray,
the hearts of your faithful
and grant that they may feel a more urgent call
to work for the salvation of every creature,
so that from all the peoples on earth
one family and one people of your own
may arise and increase.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ … and ever. Amen.
ALL ARE CALLED TO BE A MISSIONARY. The heart of a Christian must be aflame with the strong desire to ‘continue the mission’ begun by Jesus to let the whole world know that He is ‘God-is-with-us’
or ‘Emmanuel.‘ That was the name the Angel gave to Him in a dream to Saint Joseph
soon after our Blessed Mother
conceived Jesus. The ‘mission’ of a missionary – that is to say every Christian – is to let everyone know God is STILL with us in Jesus, primarily through His Church and her Sacraments. Then, and only then, united by Word and Sacrament in His Church, can the human race truly become one family and one people.
Prayer over the Offerings – Evangelization of Peoples
May the offerings and prayers of your Church,
O Lord, rise up in the sight of your majesty
and gain acceptance, just as the
glorious Passion of your Son was pleasing
to you for the salvation of the whole world.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
IT MAY HURT TO BE A MISSIONARY. Just as Jesus willingly endured all sorts of difficulties – and even death on a Cross – to fulfill His mission, we must graciously accept whatever hardships await us as we proclaim the Good News. For in a world marked by confusion, disappointment and frustration, torn by numerous wars and unjust situations, we must “be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world.” [Philippians 2:15]
How can you let your light shine a little brighter in your little part of the world?
Prayer after Communion – Evangelization of Peoples
May our participation at your table sanctify us,
O Lord, we pray, and grant that through the Sacrament of your Church all nations may receive in rejoicing the salvation accomplished on the Cross by your Only Begotten Son.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
WITH MARY AS OUR MODEL MISSIONARY. As Pope Francis noted in his 2017 World Mission Sunday message: our role model for bringing Jesus into the world is His Mother. For we are not primarily called to share a teaching, way of life or dogma, but a Person. May we say “yes” as she did to every opportunity we get to bring Jesus into the world! And may we see ourselves, at all times, as missionaries for Christ.
In His holy Name,
Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS