Sunday, October 18, 2015

Mission Sunday 2015

World population can be divided into three groups: Atheists, Agnostics and Theists.  Each word has many different definitions and understandings, but it does serve a purpose for it gives  a simple breakdown of beliefs. Atheists prefer to deny God, Agnostics are doubtful, and Theists affirm in some fashion. 

One subdivision of the Theists would be Christian, which again are divided among themselves, for they understand the words of Jesus differently.
Today is Mission Sunday, celebrated every year on the third Sunday of October that reminds us of the last words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew to the Church:  "Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples...."

Catholics are  the largest Christian division but  again, we have different understandings of what Jesus said and did even among Catholics. We call many among them cafeteria Catholic, superstitious, traditional, cradle, convert, liberal, untratraditional, charismatic, evangelical, tepid, folk, cultural and  many more.

What should be clear, however, is that Jesus wanted to make disciples and the Church that he formed is a body of disciples. The word disciple means one who submits, conforms  themselves to the discipline  of the teacher in this case Jesus. There are Christians who do not want to be disciples but if one considers themselves a disciple and Jesus wanted the Church to make disciples, then we have to ask ourselves if Jesus would accept me as a disciple? Certainly no teacher in academia would  accept a student saying he was a disciple if he did not accept what was taught. They may have been a student but  the word disciple would not be used.

Many of the articles, and sermons today remind us that we are the first that need to be evangelized. Pope Francis in his message reminds us: "All her members are called to proclaim the Gospel by their witness of life." This requires that we first evangelize ourselves. Christians should be simply followers of Christ.

"Whoever bids other folks to do right, but gives an evil example by acting the opposite way, is like a foolish weaver who weaves quickly with one hand and unravels the cloth just as quickly with the other." These words of St,Thomas More make clear what we  know only too well. People do not listen to the words as much as the example of the person we are. Evangelization has to begin with ourselves and it is not a one time event but a work of a lifetime.

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