Within the World, There is a Mission ~~Within the Mission, There is a World

October 24, 2021

This weekend the universal Church comes together in a unified way to pay attention to our baptismal calling.  We are called to be missionary disciples, we are called to tell others of the glory of God we have received.  It is obvious that our world is hurting.  In his message, His Holiness Pope Francis states, “The pandemic has brought to the fore and amplified the pain, the solitude, the poverty and the injustices experienced by so many people.  It has unmasked our false sense of security and revealed the brokenness and polarization quietly growing in our midst.  Those who are most frail and vulnerable have come to feel even more so.”  There is a reality that the world needs us to share what we have been given.  What we have been given is the power of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  We are called to share what we know, that He alone has redeemed us by His blood poured out for us.   It is something that should not be contained just within ourselves, but it is to be shared in such a way it can give the world hope.

How do we start?  While most of us might not be called to another country or distant land to share this Good News, there is a world just outside our comfort zone.  There are people who might make us uncomfortable, because of their words or actions.  There are those that we hold at a distance because of our own prejudices and past experiences.  There might be colleagues who stir up jealousy or need healing and we might be paralyzed to offer a word of mercy.  We have been given this incredible faith, it is to be a joy that overflows.  It is to be so contagious that others will naturally be drawn to it.  It might be a long time since we have experienced this kind of joy, yet it is there.  It is real and it is obtainable.  We have to trust that what we have been given is needed by God and we have been chosen to share it.  Mercy is powerful and God uses it to transform His world.

When we believe this and truly are convinced of it, we will see the world differently.  By Baptism, we are to see the world with new eyes.  Our faith calls us to openness, and when we are, that openness changes our vision.  We are challenged to go deeper, live more intentionally, and be filled with a love that God has, a love for everyone everywhere.  I have been blessed to have traveled to Africa and the Philippines.  In those places, my world changed.  I met people who touched a joy within their poverty that I am unable to touch with all my abundance of things.  I saw reliance on God and God alone that is stripped of setbacks of special concerns, of buildings and the things of this world.  When I walked with them in those places, I am unable to understand the depth of their journey, but I know it is real.  Their reality is just as important as my reality in God’s eyes.  They are beloved.  They are redeemed by the same blood as I am.  The most important thing we can know is that we really don’t know and the understanding we can reach is only to the level we can stand together relying on God and God alone.

On this World Mission Sunday may we respond to a world in need and may the need lead us to a reliance on God and God alone.

Father John Ouper