“Now I am entering a new field in a new territory and a new world. I feel that God calls me to preach and I must abandon myself to the Spirit who guides me and wherever I see an open door, there I will enter. It is awful to my body and soul to travel without a fixed abode, left to the care of friends, better I will say, to the providence. But my sister, you know my nature, when God calls me, there is nothing I do not assert and go through thick and thin, however terrible and unpleasant. And besides, when God preaches and speaks in me and through me, I am the first recipient of the gift of the divine word, and the word of God will save me and will encourage and strengthen me. The preaching will open to me the way to everything else”
Francisco Palau OCD, Letter 54,1
Tomorrow in the whole Catholic Church we are going to celebrate the World Mission Sunday, with its theme for this year “HERE AM I, SEND ME!” (Is 6:8).
This year, Pope Francis invites us to take up all the challenges that the world today presents to our faith, and respond with renewed love and creativity. The scourge of pandemic has affected to all the people all over the world, the poor and the rich as well. But “the missionary journey of the Church continues”, as Pope assures in his message. It is in this present moment, here and now, that God is calling us again wanting to send His missionaries who will tell the world of His merciful love, convince it about sin and bring to salvation offered in Jesus Christ. He continues calling those who live in this world, from every state of life, to preach the Gospel to this concrete world, with all its challenges, history and actual situation. To answer this call, we need a kind of “interior openness”, like Mary, to welcome Holy Spirit in our lives and allow Him to lead us to the mission He prepared us for.
In this context of pandemic, that became the main challenge of mission in our times, the words of Francisco Palau are also encouraging us to see it as an opportunity, as an “open door” to preach the Gospel, even when it means to sacrifice some of our commodities. Because we are also the ones who need to hear this preaching for ourselves to receive strength and courage. There are people suffer from illness, fear and isolation; there are those who die alone, abandoned, who have lost their jobs and income, homeless and hungry. This is the face of the Church today. We have an unusual opportunity to offer to the world a renewed style of relationships with God and with each other. Pope Francis invites us to “make us even more attentive to our way of relating to others”. Are we ready to open our heart to this new emergent need of the Church?
Download Pope’s Message: pope_francis_world_mission_sunday_message2020