29th Sunday B: World Mission Sunday
You are Mission: Lead by Doing, Not by Telling
Jesus’ way of leadership is completely different to the way we tend to want to tell people what to do. Instead Jesus asks us to do the serving. We love to lord over others, but this is sinful and contrary to the Jesus’ commandment. Thankfully this Gospel ties in very well with Pope Francis’ theme for Mission Sunday, “you are mission.” Instead of telling others we are to do mission ourselves.
World Mission Sunday celebrates the commitment of Catholics who strive to build a better world for all of God's people because they/we believe everyone has the right to live a dignified and fulfilling life. Above all, it is the day on which we reflect on the urgency to proclaim the Gospel in our times.
And what a Gospel we have today, what incredible readings! Again – we don’t lord over. Rather we serve. We give our life as a ransom. We take other people’s faults on ourselves. We become other Christ’s and co-redeemers who through carrying or burdening ourselves with other people’s faults, win grace for them.
This is a legitimate form of Mission. This giving of ourselves is more than intercession, it is vicarious redemption. We win God’s favour for those we intercede for by offering our self in sacrifice, such as serving. Just as the “Son of Man himself did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as ransom for many,” (Mark 10:45) so we should serve the needs of others above our own.
This path of vicarious redemption is Mission and is a proclamation of the Gospel through deed. So, on this World Mission Sunday we are invited to pray and offer ourselves. In particular we are to remember those who suffer violence and persecution. Also, we remember the effort and presence of our Catholic missionaries who work with those most in need.
The second aspect of World Mission Sunday is to generously support the work of Catholic Mission agencies who provide material aid such as shelter, clean water, sanitation and food for the multitudes of people left displaced and homeless etc. As well as being Mission by offering ourselves through prayer and sacrifice, there is also a plea for our continued financial support of Catholic Mission agencies who asks for donations to support their missionary work throughout the developing world.