This Sunday is World Mission Sunday – the one time in the whole year when the global Church comes together in celebration and support of mission. This is an abridged version of the Holy Father’s message for World Mission Sunday 2020. The full text, with references, is available to download on our WMS 2020 page>>
WORLD MISSION SUNDAY 2020: ‘Here I am, send me!’
In this year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the missionary journey of the Church continues to be illuminated by the response of the prophet Isaiah: ‘Here I am, send me’ (6:8).
This invitation challenges both the Church and humanity as a whole. Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realised that we are on the same boat, all of us called to row together, that only together can we do this.
Through pain and death, we experience our human frailty, but at the same time these things remind us of our deep desire for life and liberation from evil. The call to mission, the invitation to step out of ourselves for love of God and neighbour, presents itself as an opportunity for sharing, service and intercessory prayer. The mission that God entrusts to each one of us leads us away from fear and introspection, to a renewed realisation that we find our true selves when we give ourselves to others.
The Father’s Missionary
In the sacrifice of the cross, where the mission of Jesus is fully accomplished, God shows us that his love is for each and every one of us. Jesus is the Father’s Missionary: his life and ministry reveal his total obedience to the Father’s will. In turn, Jesus draws us into his mission of love, and with his own Spirit he makes us his disciples and sends us on a mission to the world and its peoples.
It is Christ who makes the Church go out of herself. In the mission of evangelisation, you move because the Holy Spirit pushes you, and carries you.
In the heart of God
Our personal vocation comes from the fact that we are sons and daughters of God in the Church, his family, brothers and sisters in the love that Jesus has shown us. All people have a human dignity founded on the divine invitation to be children of God and to become, in the sacrament of Baptism and in the freedom of faith, what they have always been in the heart of God.
The Church continues the mission of Jesus and sends us everywhere so that through our witness and the proclamation of the Gospel, God may continue to manifest his love and transform hearts, societies and cultures.
A personal relationship of love
Mission is a free and conscious response to God’s call. Yet we discern this call only when we have a personal relationship of love with Jesus, present in his Church. Are we prepared to welcome the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, to listen to the call to mission, in all the everyday events of life?
Far from increasing mistrust and indifference, our current situation should make us even more attentive to how we relate to others. Prayer, in which God touches and moves our hearts, should make us ever more open to our brothers and sisters’ need for dignity and freedom, as well as our responsibility to care for all creation.
The impossibility of gathering as a Church to celebrate the Eucharist has led us to share the experience of the many Christian communities that cannot celebrate Mass every Sunday. In all of this, God’s question: ‘Whom shall I send?’ is addressed once more to us and awaits a generous and convincing response: ‘Here I am, send me!’ God continues to look for those whom he can send forth into the world and to the nations to bear witness to his love.
World Mission Sunday
On World Mission Sunday we affirm how prayer, reflection and material offerings are opportunities to participate actively in the mission of Jesus in his Church. The charity expressed in the collections during the penultimate Sunday of October support the missionary work carried out in my name by Missio (the Pontifical Mission Societies), in order to meet the needs of peoples and Churches throughout the world, for the salvation of all.
May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary continue to intercede for us and sustain us.
Join us for World Mission
Your prayers and your donations on World Mission Sunday support our Church family overseas through:
- Faith and Outreach Projects which restore the dignity and hope of vulnerable children and families in need of your care
- Supporting Catholic Missionaries who give their lives to share God’s mercy and compassion with those most in need
- Building New Churches to be beacons of hope for those seeking a place to pray and to celebrate God’s love for us