The Mission Sunday 2020 amidst the COVID 19 Pandemic.
Theme: “Here am I, send me” (Isaiah 6:8) took a different dimension when Br. Shuka Yohanna Zarmis and Sr. Winifred Diagboya OLA visited Divine Mercy Parish Boi. A parish under Bogoro local government area of Bauchi which is the Catholic Diocese of Bauchi.
There they saw the excitement of the parishioners who were waiting patiently for asking questions to know the mission and the requirements of being a consecrated person.
The Vocation Director of Nigeria took his time and responded to their questions. Fliers were given to those who felt called.
Br. Shuka and Sr. Winifred continued their vocation tour to another place called Bazanshi.
There also they had a good time with the youth who were enthusiastically asking many questions. There, also they took their time to respond to their questions.
(Matthew 22:15-21) presents us with the timeless metaphor of “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and God what belongs to God,” in the words of Fr. Justin Dikuk a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Bauchi in a reflection entitled “Here am I, send me” (Is 6:8) is in commemoration of this important day as it is a summary of the message of the Holy Father, Pope Francis for World Mission Sunday.
Ten Takeaways from Pope Francis’ 2020 World Mission Sunday Message:
- Despite the Pandemic, Everyone is Sent: The Holy Father starts by emphasizing that “this year marked by the suffering and challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the missionary journey of the whole Church continues in light of the words found in the account of the calling of the prophet Isaiah” which says: “Here am I, send me” (6:8).
- Push the Missionary Enterprise: He notes that “this invitation from God’s merciful heart challenges both the Church and humanity as a whole in the current world crisis” to push forth the missionary enterprise.
- Row with Others: The Pontiff stresses that like the disciples in the Gospel who were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm, we are on the same boat, fragile and disoriented but are encouraged “to grow together” by comforting one another because “pain and death make us experience our human frailty, but at the same time remind us of our deep desire for life and liberation from evil.”
- Take to Prayer and Service: Revealing the goal of the mission, the Pope disclosed that we are invited to step out of ourselves because the love of God and neighbour remains an opportunity for sharing, service and intercessory prayer” bearing in mind that “the mission that God entrusts to each one of us leads us from fear and introspection to a renewed realization that we find ourselves precisely when we give ourselves to others.”
- Embrace the Mission of Love: “Jesus, crucified and risen for us, draws us in turn into his mission of love, and with his Spirit which enlivens the Church, he makes us his disciples and sends us on a mission to the world and to its peoples” he further emphasized.
- Love Christ and His Church: He states that although the mission is a free and conscious response to God’s call, we are nonetheless called upon to develop a personal relationship with Jesus and his Church through openness to the Holy Spirit whether we are married couples, consecrated persons or those called to the ordained ministry in the daily events of our lives.
- Commune with God and Others: He urges us to understand what God is telling us at this time of pandemic in the light of the Church’s mission namely that illness, suffering, fear, isolation, poverty, low income, loss of a job, homelessness, lack of food, loneliness, staying at home and even death, invites us to rediscover that we need social relationships as well as our communal relationship with God.
- Embrace Prayer and the Eucharist: Instead of allowing what we are currently experiencing to increase mistrust and indifference, the Holy Father calls us to embrace prayer and the Eucharist which would move us to respond to the needs of our brothers and sisters, towards upholding their dignity and freedom.
- Be Charitable: He maintains that “the celebration of World Mission Day is also an occasion for reaffirming how prayer, reflection and the material help of your offerings are so many opportunities to participate actively in the mission of Jesus in his Church”
- Yes, I believe in the words of Blessed Edmund Rice our founder “the seed will grow” may the Lord of the harvest send worthy Young men and women to serve him in all ramifications!