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World Mission Sunday

Posted on 20th October, 2019

 

Sunday 20 October 2019 - 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C


Poster for World Mission SundayFirst Reading: Exodus 17:8-13
Second Reading: 2 Timothy 3:14-4:2
Gospel: Luke 18:1-8


Today is a day of support for the mission given to the Church to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to all peoples. On this day Sacred Scripture teaches us to persevere, in prayer and action, with patience and determination. The purpose of mission is to witness to Jesus Christ, to communicate his Gospel and build up his Church, in a climate of mutual respect and religious freedom, in the common search for justice in the world.

Mission here and abroad requires patient perseverance and when, like Moses' arms, our spirits tire, we rely on our faith in the true God who comforts the weak and frees the oppressed. In Carmel, we are like Moses in trying to keep our arms raised in prayer for those fighting against evil on the battlefield of the world, especially our priests and missionaries. That is our way of spreading the Gospel of Christ, through prayer.


In the second reading, Paul reminds Timothy of the importance of the Sacred Scripture. Timothy is a young man who, together with his family, embraced the faith during the first missionary journey of the apostle Paul, and later became a member of his missionary group. Like Timothy, we are called to proclaim the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. We find our inspiration in Sacred Scripture, which guides us and teaches us that our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.


In the Gospel, Jesus' parable portrays a woman who has been denied the right to express herself by a corrupt judge; an experience that many people all over the world suffer today. The widow in the parable is not a friend of the judge, so she does not receive an audience. This widow lost her husband’s support, and in the first-century Palestinian world, she could not inherit his property. Widows were economically vulnerable and could be exploited. Not being able to afford a lawyer, the widow presents herself to offer her case against her opponent. The corrupt judge does not fear God and does not care for the good of people. The widow is determined not to remain invisible or unheard until the case is resolved in her favour.


Jesus uses the parable to teach us about the necessity of determination in our prayer life. Prayer is at the heart of the Church’s mission, as we plead for the coming of a world of justice and peace, with a healing of creation. Prayer puts Christ at the centre of our lives so that we as his Church will be permanently on mission in the world. Today God promises to see justice done to his chosen, who cry to him day and night.

 

The Gospel today ends with Jesus' poignant question: "But when the Son of Man comes, will He find any faith on earth?" (Luke 18:8)

 

On this World Mission Sunday let us respond earnestly to His plea elsewhere with regard to the missionary activity of the Church: "The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to His harvest." (Luke 10:2)

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