This Sunday, October 23rd, is World Mission Sunday. In his annual reflection, Pope Francis notes that the most intrinsic work of the Church is missionary. As Jesus ascended into heaven his last words were: “You will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Pope Francis offers that there are three simple take-aways:
- “You shall be my witnesses” – The call of every Christian to bear witness to Christ
- “To the ends of the earth” – The perennial relevance of a mission of universal evangelization
- “You will receive power” from the Holy Spirit – Let us always be strengthened and guided by the Spirit.
Pope Francis concludes his reflection on these three elements as he writes: “I continue to dream of a completely missionary Church, and a new era of missionary activity among Christian communities. I repeat Moses’ great desire for the people of God on their journey: “Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets!” (Num 11:29). Indeed, would that all of us in the Church were what we already are by virtue of baptism: prophets, witnesses, missionaries of the Lord, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to the ends of the earth! Mary, Queen of the Missions, pray for us!”
There is no mention of traveling far from home. Mission ever begins at home.