Today, every community of the Universal Church celebrates World Missions Day. We have all heard of missionaries who preach and help people in distant lands. But did you know that we too can participate in the mission entrusted by Christ? Here's how to do it.
This is a special day of the year when the entire Catholic Church unites to support the mission. Each Holy Mass donation on this day helps missionaries around the world to continue their work and supports churches, hospitals, schools and many other projects in countries where the Church is young or poor.
Every Catholic community, every believer is invited to join this special event today or any other day of the year. With our prayers, we support missionaries who spread the Good News everywhere.
The mission of evangelism does not belong only to the elect, but is a call to all Christians.
“Every baptized man and woman is a mission. Lovers never stand still: they do not close in themselves, they attract and, in turn, attract others; they give themselves to others and build relationships that give life. To God's love, no one is useless or insignificant. Each of us is a mission for the world, for each of us is the fruit of God's love,” teaches Pope Francis.
The theme chosen for the 2021 celebration taken from the Acts of the Apostles (4:20): "We cannot but say what we have seen and heard" is an invitation for each of us to share what we carry in our hearts. The Pope encourages all believers (including you!) To be missionary disciples in our daily lives. But what does this mean?
In order for everyone to become a missionary, you need to:
1) Be ready to answer the call of the Lord.
2) Living in unity with Christ in our daily activities: work, meetings with other people, our usual daily duties, the random events of every day - allowing ourselves to be always guided by the Holy Spirit.
3) Testify with our lives that we know Jesus. "If Christ moves you, if you do something because Christ is directing you, others will easily notice it."
4) Realize that the Church grows through the unity and testimony of faith, hope and love.
Pope Francis believes that these missions are urgently needed today:
1. Mission of compassion. A mission that doesn't leave anyone by the side of the road or justify indifference or apathy.
2. Mission of hope. A prophetic reminder that no one is saved by themselves.
3. Mission of the brotherhood. Belief that Jesus is with us, including in my brothers and sisters.
4. Mission of meeting and ministry. Reminding us that there is a periphery next to us, in the heart of our cities or even our own families.
5. Mission of joy. The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of those who meet Jesus.
Thus, World Mission Day is not only our chance to show love and solidarity with our global church family - brothers and sisters in Christ living in poverty, violence and oppression. But also a reminder to every Catholic that we ourselves are called to missionary work, and for this it is not necessary to go to the ends of the world: our first mission takes place where we live and work, among the people whom the Lord sends to meet us every day.
Fr. Leopold Kropfreiter, SJM, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Kazakhstan