29th Sunday

29th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – THE WORLD MISSION SUNDAY

“GIVE OURSELVES TO GOD 100%”.

My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We are in the 29th Sunday in ordinary time and we also celebrate today the world mission Sunday. The liturgy of the word, inviting all of us to give ourselves to God 100 %( totally). Because God is truly almighty and is able to bring about good in every situation—even when we or those who govern resist His Word.  Always we are called by the Scriptures to acknowledge that God is truly God and all powerful and in charge of all that happens.  Such a view of our world does not leave out our own self will by which we choose either to follow the word of God or to reject that word.

The first reading today is from the Prophet Isaiah.  This passage tells of the presence of the God of Israel in the life of Cyrus.  There are many references to Cyrus in the Old Testament because it was under Cyrus that the Babylonian Captivity came to an end and the Jewish people were able to return to their own land and rebuild the temple.  What is important in this reading is that it is God who is acting through Cyrus.  Even non-Jewish—and later even non-Christian—rulers can be and are used by the Lord God to bring about His will and His plans.

The second reading is from the beginning of the First Letter to the Thessalonians.  We can look again at the sentence:  “For our Gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction.”  The Gospel—the Good News of Jesus Christ—always comes to us in people, not just in words, but in deeds.  There are some people who are able to read the Scriptures and be converted, but most of us are baptized into the Church by our families or we convert because of the example of someone.  When we meet a person who is on fire with faith and who is able to speak clearly and correctly about the Scriptures, we meet the kind of person that Saint Paul wants to bring the Gospel to others.  You and I should be that kind of person:  able to speak about our faith and believing so deeply in the Lord Jesus that His presence radiates out of us. Of course we might not be that way all of the time, but it is a goal because in that way the Gospel is brought to people and people are brought to Jesus Christ and His Church.

POPE FRANCIS HAS RELEASED A MESSAGE FOR WORLD MISSION SUNDAY, All peoples and cultures have the right to receive the message of salvation which is God’s gift to every person. This is all the more necessary when we consider how many injustices, wars, and humanitarian crises still need resolution. Missionaries know from experience that the Gospel of forgiveness and mercy can bring joy and reconciliation, justice and peace. The mandate of the Gospel to “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) has not ceased; rather this command commits all of us, in the current landscape with all its challenges, to hear the call to a renewed missionary “impulse”, as I noted in my Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium: “Each Christian and every community must discern the path that

The Lord points out, but all of us are asked to obey his call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the ‘peripheries’ in need of the light of the Gospel” (20).

The great missionary Society of our century is the Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The MC’s live with the poorest of the poor, and I can tell you it’s not easy, even for eight days. These sisters spend not a week but most of their lives struggling to speak foreign languages, exposed to heat and cold, noise and violence. They are not unhappy, though: their love for Christ and love for each other radiate joy from their faces. Mother Teresa’s sisters begin the day with an hour of prayer, and pray four hours a day to sustain their missions

The greatest missionary of all time was St. Paul, who suffered many difficulties in his four missionary journeys. & coming to our life, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s”: How?  It is the duty of Christians, as citizens of the country, to pay for the services and the privileges that government provides, like paved roads, police and fire departments, banks, schools and other necessities.  If we refuse to pay taxes, how will these needs be met?  Another way of giving to Caesar what is Caesar’s is to participate actively in the running of the government, electing the most suitable candidates and influencing them through frequent contacts.  Third, we must submit to the civil authorities and respect the laws of our country in order to live in peace.  As loyal citizens we must also see to it that our elected representatives are faithful in maintaining law and order in the country and in promoting the welfare of its citizens without violating God’s laws.

“Give to God what is God’s.” How?  Since everything is God’s, we must give ourselves to Him 100%, not just 10% on Sundays.  We should be generous in fulfilling our Sunday obligations and find time every day for prayer and worship in the family, for the reading of the Bible and the proper training of our children in Faith and morals.   We are invited each year to make a stewardship pledge of our financial offering to the local Church for the coming year.  Our contribution to the parish Church   should be an expression of our gratitude to God, giving back to God all that He has given us.  Active participation in the various ministries of the parish is an offering to God of our time and talents, yet another way of giving to God His due, our whole self.

May God Bless us.

Posted in Messages from Fr. Vinner