by Fr P. J. Hughes
It’s been one of those years that most of us will never forget. Due to the coronavirus, churches were closed and the mission of Christ looked as though it was put on hold. But thanks to Facebook and webcams, this mission continued with Mass and prayer services broadcast to people’s homes. It was a new way of living one’s faith.
Wherever a priest or religious is placed on mission they are workers in the vineyard, called to animate the baptised faithful in using their talents and gifts to communicate the message of Christ and his church.
As the prophet Isaiah says about those chosen: ‘though you do not know me, I arm you that people may know from the rising of the sun to the setting of the sun that, apart from me, all is nothing’ (Is 45:5-6)
Saint Paul says about missionaries: ‘They give their lives because they have received power from above and the Holy Spirit is leading them.’
Jesus is praying for the success of his mission, that the world may come to know God though the efforts of every missionary.
Working with the poor who have very little worldly possessions, one encounters a humility that they display before God and others. I had the privilege of working in Ecuador, in South America, as a missionary for eight and a half years. The people were so welcoming and lived simple lives, without even basic facilities. Living among the poor, I came to realise that in the end the most important thing to have is faith in God.
No achievements, no wealth, no honours placed upon me in this world can win me eternal life. Only one thing that matters:
to know Christ Jesus and believe in him who is praying for us as we proclaim the gospel.
The poor taught me that faith brings true happiness.