Fr. Bloomfield's Blog

I am a Roman Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, currently assigned to Divine Child Parish in Dearborn, Michigan. When I manage to keep the page updated, hopefully something interesting can be found here!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Faith Seeking Understanding for October 23, 2005

Today, the next-to-last Sunday in October, is the annual celebration of World Mission Sunday. This yearly event is organized by the Vatican’s Society for the Propagation of the Faith, and calls all Catholics to renew their commitment to the missionary life of the Church, not only through financial contributions, but primarily through prayer and sacrifice.

The call to “mission” is not reserved to certain religious communities of priests, brothers, or sisters. Neither is the missionary life of the Church meant only for foreign countries! Each of us is called to live a life of mission by our Lord Himself: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

Although this command is given directly to the Apostles before Jesus ascended into Heaven, each of us is called to “make disciples of all nations,” beginning with ourselves, our families, and our neighborhoods. We are called to zealously proclaim the Gospel with our words and deeds, by following the Holy Spirit’s lead and becoming authentic Christians, earnestly seeking the Kingdom each day. Pope John Paul II continuously called for this renewal of mission in what he termed the “New Evangelization.”

Such preaching of the Gospel never changes the content or the teaching of the Faith, which has been consistent for 2000 years, preserved from error by the Holy Spirit. Rather, this New Evangelization is new in “ardor, methods, and expression,” as our late Holy Father described it. Therefore, we must be inspired to a greater zeal for our Faith, constantly seeking to know the Truth ourselves and live this Truth daily, always seeking new ways (radio, television, and the internet, for example) to proclaim the Gospel. We also must seek ways to address our culture, continually making the Gospel relevant to our families, friends, and co-workers. The message of Christ does matter, today more than ever.

At the heart of the missionary call is our Lord Himself, in the Most Holy Eucharist. Our contemplation and adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament compels us to spread the Gospel. As Pope John Paul II said in his message for World Mission Sunday 2005: “while the Eucharist helps us to understand more fully the significance of mission, it leads every individual believer, the missionary in particular, to be ‘bread, broken for the life of the world’.” He continues:

“We who nourish ourselves with the Body and Blood of the crucified and risen Lord, cannot keep this ‘gift’ to ourselves; on the contrary we must share it. Passionate love for Christ leads to courageous proclamation of Christ; proclamation which, with martyrdom, becomes a supreme offering of love for God and for mankind. The Eucharist leads us to be generous evangelizers, actively committed to building a more just and fraternal world."

As we conclude the Year of the Eucharist, may our hearts be drawn closer to the Eucharistic Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ. He urgently asks us to adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament and from our contemplative prayer, to transform the world in the power of His love. Pray for and support the Missions, and have a blessed week!