One Sunday for the World: World Mission Sunday set for Oct. 18

October 13, 2020

HOUSTON — World Mission Sunday, which is set for Oct. 18, joins all Catholics of the world into one community of faith.

At Mass that Sunday, we recommit ourselves to our common vocation, through Baptism, to be missionaries, through prayer, participation in the Eucharist, and by giving generously to the collection for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.

In the Archdiocese, a special World Mission Sunday Mass will be celebrated at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in The Woodlands at 11 a.m.

In his message for World Mission Sunday this year, Pope Francis asks us to respond to our baptismal call to mission by saying, “Here I Am, Send Me,” which is this year’s World Mission Sunday theme.

This is the mission that all Christians have received, and God gives us the grace to live it out wherever we may be.

Every parish in the world can participate, united, in this special Eucharistic celebration. Every parishioner is a missionary, sharing our love for Christ’s Gospel with one another, supporting the Church most in need.

In a world where so much divides us, World Mission Sunday rejoices in our unity as missionaries by our Baptism, as it offers each of us an opportunity to support the life-giving presence of the Church among the poor and marginalized in more than 1,111 mission dioceses.

A Scriptural Reflection

For many decades, the Church has recognized the work of its missions and petitioned on their behalf on World Mission Sunday.

We again thank God for His mercy on all missionaries and the people they serve around the world. From the earliest days of the Church, those who believe in Jesus as the Son of God and our Redeemer have gone to the ends of the earth to spread the Good News.

St. Paul reassured these believers, telling them, “We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ.…

For our Gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit” (1 Thes 1:2-3, 5). Just as the Holy Spirit guided the efforts of Paul and the other faithful disciples who set out to reveal the love and sacrifice of Christ, the Spirit does the same 2,000 years later. Jesus came to claim us for Himself with life everlasting. And He has not yet finished His work of evangelization.

The faith that is so precious to us needs to be shared with people of many lands.

In these trying times, we all have many demands made on us. Yet we need to recognize the essential nature of our lives as Catholics.

In the Gospel reading for Oct. 18, some try to set a trap for Jesus by asking whether or not they should pay taxes to the Romans. But they are themselves carrying coins with Caesar’s image; they have already made their own decisions. Our Lord says, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God” (Mt 22:21).

In fact, everything, every shred of our universe, belongs to God our Creator. We must decide how to use the gifts God has granted us to honor Him and serve His people. As His followers, Jesus wants us to let those around us and around the whole world know Him and His incomparable blessings. Day by day, let us do our share.

Each day, and on this World Mission Sunday most especially, let us answer the Lord’s call to mission, “Here I am, send me,” as we share our belief in Christ in word and witness, in prayer and sacrifice.

Let us pray for missionaries and for those with whom they share our faith in Christ. Let us celebrate the work of the Church’s many faithful and generous missionaries by regularly supporting their efforts, especially on this World Mission Sunday. Our prayers and sacrifices on this Sunday, combined with those offered in churches and chapels around the globe, join us to the efforts of missionaries who proclaim the Word and serve the poor day in and day out.

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