“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all you lands. Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.” (Psalm 96:1-3)
You can take center stage today. This is your moment to “sing a new song” by sharing God’s love with the world.
World Mission Sunday is an affirmation that we are chosen not necessarily to do great things—although I’m sure you have—but to join God in doing what is already at work. Pope Francis calls this action of the spirit “the universal sacrament of God’s love for the world.” When we witness our faith, he says, God continues to manifest infinite love in ways that “transform hearts, minds, bodies, societies, and cultures in every place and time.” This is what we celebrate today on World Mission Sunday.
Our celebration is tempered this year for all the reasons we know—but it’s also an invitation to renewal. Like the apostles caught in a storm and fearful for their lives, we realized that we can only deal with adversity when we care for one another. When we all pull together. In his address today, Our Holy Father Pope Francis acknowledges the immense suffering of people all over the world from the global pandemic. But in recognizing our human frailty, Francis says we are reminded of “our deep desire for life and liberation from evil.” In this context, the Pope says our call to mission is “an invitation to step out of ourselves for love of God and neighbor.” It’s an opportunity for sharing, service, and prayer.
The mission that God is calling us to always leads away from fear to a new understanding of mercy and compassion. By giving ourselves over to others, we experience God’s merciful love. Yes, in mission we are “called, sent, and transformed.”
Friend, when the prophet Isaiah heard the voice of God, he said, “Here I am Lord. Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8). He had complete faith that God would show the way. On World Mission Sunday, I invite you to trust in God, too, for you have all the tools and resources you need to witness the compassion of Our Lord, transforming yourself—and transforming the world.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 3rd Sunday
Help us to hear and answer Your call,
O Lord God, savior and redeemer
of the human race.
Fill us with Your life-giving spirit
that we too might step outside
our circle of comfort
and reach out to all
especially those who have not
experienced the joy of knowing You
and surrendering to Your will.
We pray too for the church around the world
especially communities or individuals
persecuted or oppressed for the Gospel.
May our prayers and the presence of
the Holy Spirit give them the courage to
overcome all hardships and to share
the Good News of salvation to everyone
they meet today.
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso