“I will gather them from the ends of the world, with the blind and the lame in their midst, the mothers and those with child; they shall return as an immense throng.” Jeremiah 31: 8
Transforming the world may sound like a tall order for just one person. But imagine the good that can happen when each of us takes on the role of missioner and proclaims the joy of our faith. That’s what we celebrate today on World Mission Sunday: the good we have accomplished… and the good yet to be.
Our calling in baptism is to go beyond our personal boundaries and engage with people and communities at all levels. Our gift of faith is precious. How can we not share it! The story of Bartemaeus in today’s Gospel is a good example of the power of faith—and the spirit of mission.
Jesus encountered Bartemaeus on the road home from Jericho. A blind man, anxious to be healed, Bartemaeus repeatedly called for Jesus, probably disturbing the crowd that had gathered to hear Jesus preach. But Our Lord acknowledged Bartemaeus and rewarded his faith by restoring his vision. For present-day missioners, the eyes of faith are a window to the soul. Like Bartemaeus, we believe because we have experienced God’s love in deep and intimate ways.
In proclaiming today World Mission Sunday, Pope Francis, too, is as overwhelmed as Bartemaeus, by the goodness of God. This is how he invites us to mission: “Dear brothers and sisters, when we experience the power of God’s love, when we recognize his presence as a Father in our personal and community life, we cannot help but proclaim and share what we have seen and heard.”
Friend, on World Mission Sunday, this is my personal take-away: Like Bartemaeus, never be afraid to raise your voice in search of Jesus or in proclaiming his mercy. Let the world know the depth of your faith. Be the missioner you were called to be. And celebrate with joy because one day your reward will be very great.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Lance Nadeau, M.M.
Prayer for 4th Sunday
World Mission Sunday
Jesus, Savior of the world,
You send disciples to the ends of the earth
to share the Good News of Your kingdom
with all peoples in every place and time
that all might receive and experience
Your merciful love, forgiveness, joy and peace.
Shine the radiant light of Your Gospel
in those areas of my own life yet
to be transformed by Your grace.
Illumine my darkness and loosen
whatever binds me to unhealthy habits.
Set my spirit free from chains of the past
that my life may be renewed in You.
Send me forth, Lord, to go in joy
beyond the barriers that divide us
and across borders that separate us
to make friends of strangers, and
brothers and sisters from friends
that together we might create
a new family of faith
In your holy Name we pray.
Prayer by, Father Joseph Veneroso M.M.