The message for this year mission month is: “You shall be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8)
What does being His witness mean and how can we put it into practice to our everyday life?
Below is a summary of the 3 themes that Pope Francis mentioned in the message for mission month 2022. You can read through and see how they can be beneficial for your every day life by putting them into practice! Share with us your thoughts on the comment box below!
Theme 1: Living is a Missionary Key
The call of every Christian is to bear witness to Christ. Jesus was the first missionary since he was sent to do the will of the Father “For I have come down from heaven, not that I should do My will, but the will of the One having sent Me.” (John 6:38)
In the same way of the relation of Jesus with His Father is for us to be witnesses to Jesus by emptying ourselves from our own will and do the will of the Father inspired by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
The Pope said that each baptised Christian is called to be a witness of the Gospel in a communitarian way, not in isolation, even in the ordinary activities of our daily lives. Even when one is helping out others and preaching the Gospel in a far away missionary land, because everyone is interconnected and interrelated with the grace of the Holy Spirit, he is still connected to the Church community by “profound invisible links in the order of grace”.
Theme 2: How should we be missionary disciples and where? “To the ends of the earth”
We are called to be missionary disciples by focusing on our ‘being like Christ’ rather than on our doing, the former makes us better witnesses and testimony of the Gospel to others. This together with sharing the Gospel News with joy, enthusiasm and courage like the early Christians, increases Faith in other disciples since as St Paul says “Faith comes from what is heard”. (Rom 10:17)
“…to the ends of the earth” does not necessary only mean geographical distant from us, but those who are distant from Christ since they have not encountered Him yet. Therefore, the Pope urges Christians to go forth and out of ourselves to encounter others “towards borderline places and human situations, in order to bear witness to Christ and His love to men and women of every people, culture and social status.”
Theme 3: The Power of the Holy Spirit
The third foundation that the Pope mentions for mission is “you will receive power from the Holy Spirit”. (Acts 1:8) Just like the Spirit broke the bonds of the Apostles’ fears in the days after Jesus’ death and resurrection, Pope Francis encourages Christian disciples to pray since it “allows us to be refreshed and strengthened by the Spirit as the inexhaustible divine source of renewed energy and joy in sharing Christ’s life with others.”
This would allow the Holy Spirit to guide us to recognise the guidance and strength of the Spirit’s work, which is gentle and docile, rather than living and speaking and encountering people from a space of force and dominance.
For us to be guided by the Spirit, Pope Francis encourages us to pray to Mary, the Queen of the Missions!