Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Today, we often speak of this in figurative ways. But for many religious – including many of my own Sisters – the Cross became a reality embraced in their offering themselves to serve in mission lands. After departing for the Missions, many of my Sisters never saw their families again.
Being World Mission Sunday, I’d like to honor them – remembering that their love of Christ is not forgotten (from our bicentenary):
In Pope Benedict XVI’s Message for World Mission Sunday, he quotes from John, chapter 14:21: “He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” The Holy Father goes on to explain how it is possible to fulfill Jesus’ words:
Only on the basis of this encounter with the Love of God that changes life can we live in communion with him and with one another and offer our brothers and sisters a credible witness, accounting for the hope that is in us (cf. 1 Pt 3: 15). An adult faith, capable of entrusting itself totally to God with a filial attitude fostered by prayer, meditation on the word of God and study of the truth of the faith, is a prerequisite for furthering a new humanism founded on the Gospel of Jesus.
To my Sister Missionaries and to our Lay Volunteer Missionaries, both past and present, thank you. Through your concrete witness of love, satisfied in being unsung heroes, you have made, and continue to make “Christ known and loved”.