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Mission Sunday - "Together in Faith" (October 23rd 2011)
On Mission Sunday a collection is taken up and is organised annually by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and is celebrated in every Church throughout the world, including the poorest.
World Mission Sunday provides Catholics with the opportunity to unite with their missionary sisters and brothers, and to recommit themselves to the Church's missionary activity, through prayer, sacrifice and financial contribution. Funds raised are used to assist Young Churches and missionaries in helping communities in need, both spiritually and materially.
In October 2010, Irish Catholics contributed more than €2.2 million. Limerick diocese contributed €64,703. The Mission Sunday collection is made available, in its entirety, to be distributed to as many as 1,100 young Churches who are supported by the generosity of Churches that are better off through the Society of Propoganda Fide, Society of St Peter the Apostle and the Society of Missionary Children.
Contributions will be used to build simple mission churches, to educate seminarians and to assist in the formation of lay leaders. The Mission Sunday gift will also be used for the building of health clinics for children, emergency aid in times of war or natural disaster and to assist missionaries in their efforts to care for refugees.
The theme for World Mission Sunday in Ireland this year is Together in Faith. We celebrate the heroic faith of Pio Lokuru in South Sudan (read the story behind the poster) and of his fellow catechists throughout the world, who welcome our 1,762 missionaries, teach them and work with them in building up the Church. We thank God for them, for all who support them in our own country and for our togetherness in faith.
In his message for Mission Sunday this year, Pope Benedict XVI, wrote, "Missionary activity renews the Church, revitalizes faith and Christian identity, and offers fresh enthusiasm and new incentive. Faith is strengthened when it is given to others!" And he goes on to add, "It is in commitment to the Church's universal mission that the new evangelization of Christian peoples will find inspiration and support"
|Source: American Illiterati|
Matthew presents another challanging gospel to us this week with the oft quoted phrase which is used to define the Church's place in society.
We have another frosty interaction between Jesus and the Pharisees which was an almost dangerous question which was proceded by a case of damning by faint praise - a back handed compliment. Do we ever do that to our neighbour? How do we respond? Do we react or repond as Jesus did? Or how would we repond if Jesus called us a hypocite? Standing in the shoes of the pharisees, does it cut us to the heart? Do we know moments when we could be accused of being a hypocrite?
Rendering unto God what is God's is a reminder that everything comes as a gift from the love of God into our own hearts and lives. Our lives are a sharing in the Divine as they are gifts from God. The message of scripture is that all creation is a gift from God but that we must contribute to a fair and just society but that a balance needs to be maintained between the two.
Other reflections on this weeks gospel:
From Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical "Deus caritas est":
"Fundamental to Christianity is the distinction between what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God (cf. Mt 22:21), in other words, the distinction between Church and State, or, as the Second Vatican Council puts it, the autonomy of the temporal sphere. The State may not impose religion, yet it must guarantee religious freedom and harmony between the followers of different religions. For her part, the Church, as the social expression of Christian faith, has a proper independence and is structured on the basis of her faith as a community which the State must recognize. The two spheres are distinct, yet always interrelated.
Saints of the Week
October 17th - St Ignatius of Antioch
October 18th - St Luke the Evangelist
October 19th - St Paul of the Cross
October 20th - St Aidan of Mayo
October 21st - Blessed Charles of Austria
October 22nd - St Mary Salome
Preparing for Advent 2011 for Parish Liturgy Groups
More information HERE.