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Mission at the heart of faith

As we enter the month of October, it is good to remember the upcoming celebration of World Mission Sunday, on the 22nd. This year, the Pope’s message to mark this important event reiterates the truth that “the Church is missionary by nature.”

Images of the recent hurricanes and tropical storms sweeping across the southern coast of the U.S. and the Caribbean Islands are still vivid in our memories. Although they did not get as much publicity, some countries in Asia and Africa were also battered by heavy torrential rains. These extreme and mighty weather phenomena unleashed utter devastation on its trail, causing sheer destruction of properties, infrastructures and loss of human lives. 

There lies ahead the daunting task of long term reconstruction, involving huge sums of money. The poorer countries will need the solidarity of the international community, as they cannot cope on their own with the immense rebuilding effort. 

In the months ahead, the world will also have to contend with the ongoing and dangerous escalation of friction between North Korea, the United States and its allies. The continuous provocative launching of intercontinental ballistic missiles and the successful hydrogen bomb test by the regime of Pyongyang are increasing the dangers of military confrontations that can cause massive destruction and millions of deaths. 

World leaders, diplomats and religious groupings are calling for dialogue and diplomatic negotiations as the way out of this grave crisis. 

On a positive note, it is worth mentioning Pope Francis’ visit to Colombia in mid-September. Under the theme, “Let us take the first step”, the pastoral visit sought to encourage the peace process in the country after five decades of conflict that victimized millions of Colombians. One of the highlights of the papal sojourn was the reconciliation service where the Pope listened to powerful testimonies from ex-guerrilla fighters and from victims of their violence. “Do not be afraid of asking for forgiveness and offering it,” the Pope told them. “It is time to defuse hatred, to renounce vengeance.” 

As we enter the month of October, it is good to remember the upcoming celebration of World Mission Sunday, on the 22nd. This year, the Pope’s message to mark this important event reiterates the truth that “mission is at the heart of the Christian Faith” and that “the Church is missionary by nature.” 

Citing from Evangelii Gaudium, the papal message for World Mission Day 2017 challenges all of us “to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the peripheries in need of the light of the Gospel.”(n.20) 


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