Hello from Kapit Parish!
Like you we’re getting ready for World Mission Sunday. But this year our parish activities for World Mission Sunday are still limited because of COVID-19. The situation here is still critical, and the cases are still high across the state – even in the long houses which are more isolated. So there are restrictions on our travel to reach out people in long houses, so we only sent them soft copies in online. It’s very sad that many of the longhouses can’t get them because they have no network.
But despite the restrictions, we plan to create more awareness of Christ’s mission, the mission in which all the baptized are called to go forth and proclaim the Good News to all creation. We’ll do this however and wherever we can; through our homilies and also by sending out our message online where we can and with handouts where possible on Mission Sunday.
New ways to speak of what we have seen and heard
There is no doubt that the call to participate in Mission is very often given minimal attention or, even worse, ignored. But God has made our missionary work fruitful. There are times when I have strongly felt the graces of God working through me and others, especially during difficult and challenging moments. There is a saying that when the doors are closed, windows are always opened. So we make use of those small windows to carry God’s mission. During COVID-19 we’ve become much better at using the social media and if possible some writings of God’s word we can still share the message of Christ to the people.
At times during this pandemic, everything was closed down. And yet gradually, although we cannot go about Mission as usual, God has provided new ways of fulfilling our mission. We’ve reach out to the people, sending them daily Word of God and homilies through online chats and groups. And we’ve encouraged more lay engagement in the Mission in small Christian Communities. That’s where I feel the Risen Lord alive and active at work with us in our mission. Keeping trust and hope in Christ, we continue His mission in spite of the challenges that we are all facing at present situation in the world.
An unstoppable faith
This year’s World Mission Sunday theme, ‘We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard’ (Acts 4:20), reminds us about our primary calling to witness to Christ’s resurrection. These words were spoken by the Apostles Peter and John who were brought before Jewish Council after being arrested. They were accused of teaching the people about the resurrected Christ.
It’s amazing how the apostles were unstoppable in continuing the Mission of Christ. In their unwavering faith and hope in the risen Lord, they courageously went forth proclaiming the Good News even amidst persecution. Likewise, in our times, we should be unstoppable in reaching out in the spirit of Mission to love and to serve.
Besides other challenges we face, COVID-19 is hitting us very hard. It’s in this situation that we are most needed to be a beacon of hope to the people of God – wherever we are and in whatever way possible.
I want to end with a quote from Pope Gregory encourages the Missionaries in the world.
“So do not let the hardship of the Journey, nor the tongues of evil people deter you; but with all possible earnestness and Zeal perform that which, by God’s direction, you have undertaken, being assured that much labour is followed by eternal reward”.
I thank God the Almighty for Chosen me to be a Missionary priest to love and to serve His people. Thank you, Missio, for giving me this great opportunity to share about our Mission Sunday. May God bless us all.
Fr Michael is a Mill Hill Missionary who is currently serving communities in east Malaysia. He was previously in Cameroon.
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