The Mission Hub

The Pontifical Mission Societies include the Society for the
Propagation of the Faith, the Missionary Childhood Association, the Society of St.Peter Apostle, and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious. These Societies promote a prayerfulmissionary spirit among baptized Catholics and to gather a fund of support for the evangelizing and pastoral programs of more than 1,150 local churches of the Developing World.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Presence of Christ in the Present

As a Lector at Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Plymouth, I was privileged to be part of the Palm Sunday Liturgy and reading of Christ’s Passion. I rehearsed so many times at home that my family could have stepped in for me if the need arose! I was focused on the readings, picturing the scene in my mind and transporting myself back to the streets of Jerusalem at the time of Christ. What would it have been like to have been a witness to the scenes described as the triumph of Palm Sunday turned to the torture and tragedy of Good Friday? Where would I have been – a follower turning away or even scarier, part of the adamant crowd following their rulers yelling for a crucifixion?

Deacon Jim Greer’s homily pulled me back to the present with such power: instead of putting myself at the scene in the past, he inquired, shouldn’t I be bringing Christ into the present? He asked us, as we looked ahead to Holy Week, to ask ourselves these questions: “Has our relationship with Christ deepened? Have we allowed Christ to enter our lives?” Deacon Jim went on to give a beautiful description of what Christ wants: “…to penetrate the walls around our hearts and bring us the assurance of His love…to take the pressure off our lives…to convince us that we don’t need to struggle to earn His love or fear losing it…to take our wounds upon Himself so that we don’t suffer alone.”

In his description of Christ, I heard Deacon Jim give a perfect explanation of what it means to be a missionary – not just during Holy Week, but every day. Missionaries seek to bring the love of Christ into the hearts of our brothers and sisters around the world through their words and actions; they feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless, care for the sick and bring people assurances of God’s great love for them. Through the work of Christ’s missionaries, people know that they are not alone, no matter their circumstance.

May the blessings of this Holy Week help us all to reach out in prayer and support to those doing what Pope John Paul II called “the holiest work of the Church” – being a missionary for Christ.

- Maureen Crowley Heil

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