Love Without Limits - World Mission Sunday
October 23, 2016
World Mission Sunday is a day set aside for the Catholic Church to publicly renew its commitment to the missionary movement. In his Message for this year’s 90th World Mission Day, Pope Francis called the work of evangelization an “immense work of mercy, both spiritual and material.” He went on to say that “all of us are invited to ‘go out’ as missionary disciples.”
Now most of us do not think of ourselves as missionaries and probably do not want to be missionaries, but if God and Jesus mean anything to us, we cannot stop ourselves from being evangelizing missionaries. We do this every day, as the Pope’s Mission Day message reminds us, when each of us “generously offers our talents, creativity, wisdom and experience to bring the message of God’s tenderness and compassion to the entire human family.” We do so when we care for another because those kind and merciful words and actions we use are an outpouring of our very real and personal experience the Lord’s love for us.
That real and personal experience of the Father’s love that poured out of Jesus and His followers, today is filling our world through our mercy-filled words and deeds. Pope Francis says of the present day disciples, “As they travel through the streets of the world, the disciples of Jesus need to have a love without limits, the same measure of love that our Lord has for all people. They proclaim the most beautiful and greatest gifts that, in Jesus, God has given us: God’s own life and God’s own love.”
Whenever we encounter Jesus in the Scriptures and the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, we are allowing ourselves to experience this “love without limits.” These encounters change us and move us to want to share the richness of life that we find there. As the Holy Father states, “When we welcome and follow Jesus by means of the Gospel and sacraments, we, with the help of the Holy Spirit, become merciful as our heavenly Father is merciful; we learn to love as he loves us and make of our lives a free gift, a sign of his goodness.”
Thus, every day, in every way, we are missionaries without even leaving home! As we become more and more aware of our already existing connection with the Lord, we become the channel through which the Father’s merciful “love without limits” flows.