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Only a few weeks ago, we all listened to the reports of the devastation and suffering caused by hurricane Ian, particularly in Florida.  Personally, I still vividly remember that in late September 2009 the Philippines suffered a “double-hit” of two back-to-back typhoons.  Typhoon Ondoy dumped the equivalent of over one month’s rainfall on Manila and the surrounding areas in less than 24 hours.  The situation was urgent.

Solidarity in Suffering.  Many people manifested their solidarity and compassion during these tragic events in Florida and Manila.  I remember Muelmar Magallanes, the 18-year-old construction worker who saved the lives of 30 people in Manila during the height of the storm.  After he had moved his own family to higher ground, he went back to do the same for some 30 others.  A strong swimmer, Muelmar’s last rescue mission was a 6-month-old baby and mother.  He then succumbed to fatigue and the strong currents carried him away.  Time magazine named him one of the top ten heroes of the year. 

Missionary Urgency.  The Church asks all of us to frequently reflect on the urgency of mission.  This theme dominates Saint Paul’s second letter to Timothy, today’s second reading.  Paul exhorts Timothy with the strongest of words: “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus … proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.” 

Profound Insights.  In his mission encyclical Redemptoris Missio, Saint Pope John Paul II reflects on “missionary urgency.”  Listen to his words: “Mission is an issue of faith, an accurate indicator of our faith in Christ and his love for us” (RM 11).  The pope goes on to say that “in the Church’s history, missionary drive has always been a sign of vitality, just as its lessening is a sign of a crisis of faith” (RM 2).  And again, “The Lord is always calling us to come out of ourselves and to share with others the goods we possess, starting with the most precious gift of all—our faith” (RM 49).

John Paul II is asserting that mission will only flourish if it is built upon “our faith in Christ and his love for us.”  Only when we are deeply convinced of Christ’s personal love for us, will we be energized to tell others the good news.  A sense of the urgency of mission emerges from an awareness of God’s profound love.

Personal Commitment.  To meet the urgent needs caused by natural disasters, all try to do their share; the same principle holds true for spreading the Good News of Jesus.  It is an urgent imperative; all are called to serve the Church’s mission; some are even invited to give heroic service.  Remember Muelmar Magallanes; he gave his life in service.  So did Jesus on the cross.  You and I need to ask: How deep is my faith?  Is mission urgent for me?

James H. Kroeger, M.M.

 

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lord, who always hear the cry of the poor

and that all be saved by your truth

may I recognize my neighbor in need

and acknowledge that I may be the answer

to their prayers.

I confess I feel overwhelmed and helpless

in the face of tragedy and suffering.

Let me not refuse to do anything

out of fear I can do nothing

but let my efforts and offerings

no matter how small, by your grace

be multiplied to feed the multitudes.

Accept, then, my Lord and God, my gifts

of time, talents, and prayers as but

the first fruits of my faith in you.

Together with brothers and sisters of faith

may we answer your urgent call to help

that the world may be healed, fed and freed

to build your kingdom here on earth.

Amen.

By Fr. Joseph Veneroso. M.M.

   

   

ABOUT MARYKNOLL

We are a Catholic Society of priests and brothers based in the United States. We are dedicated to missionary work overseas in over 20 countries. Additionally, we animate Catholics in the United States to follow their own baptismal call to share God’s compassion and love with the poor, the sick, and all those in need.

OUR GENERAL COUNCIL

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Fr. Lance P. Nadeau, Fr. James M. Lynch, Fr. Timothy O. Kilkelly)

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is overseen by our General Council, led by Superior General Rev. Lance P. Nadeau, M.M.

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OUR FOUNDERS

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Our Co-Founders Father Price and Father Walsh)

PLACES WE SERVE

EVANGELIZATION, PARISHES, AND PROJECTS

USA

STORIES OF MISSION

(Africa) Education and Formation of African Clergy

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Africa Region will provide tuition assistance to African clergy, male and female religious at institutes of higher education or specialized training. Read More

Stories of Our Global Mission

The calling of a lifetime
The life of a Maryknoll missioner is challenging, fulfilling, and deeply rewarding. Follow your baptismal call to mission by sharing God’s compassion with the poor, the sick, and people most in need.