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Fr Ray: Missionary Disciples

10th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B - 10th June, 2018

This is the favourite description of Pope Francis for us as Catholics. We are disciples because our lives are focussed on the life of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We are missionary because we are sharing his mission to the world. His mission is summed up in the command of Jesus in Matthew 29:19, "Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations, baptize them in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you." The whole church needs to be on a missionary footing. Our task is to share the Good News with the whole world. This is a rather large task and it can be hard to know where to begin.

"Hope in Action". In his book, Cardinal Vincent Nichols sees "the world" in terms of three Cs: 1) We are sent to our colleagues who have lost their was. These are fellow Christians who are resting, who have received the sacraments of 1st Holy Communion, confession and confirmation but who rarely darken the door of the Church. We could reach out to them and invite them along. 2) We are sent to the curious. People wonder why so many come to Mass on Sunday. Curiosity often arises out of a sense of wanting something more, a sense of emptiness. People are unsure about the deeper meaning of their lives, about what they stand for beyond their loved ones or their possessions. The beatitudes (MT 5:3-12) is the answer to the curious. 3) We are sent to those who cry from the heart from confusion, pain, hunger, loneliness, need and anger. Our Lord, in his passion and death, mingled the cry of his prayer with the cry of the world and redeemed it. We must bring together the cry of our prayer and the cry of pain.

Pope Francis, in "Evangelii Gaudium", says, "The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus." Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness.

Fr. Ray Armstrong, C.M.


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