From the Pastor – July 15, 2018

Short Daily PrayersIn him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ. (Eph. 1:11-12)

The readings for this Sunday are about the idea of “mission.”  The word “mission” comes from the Latin verb “mittere,” which means “to send out.”  The obvious “sending out” in this week’s Gospel is Jesus sending out the Apostles.  In fact, the word “apostle” literally means “those sent out” in Greek.  The Apostles are sent out on a “mission.”  And the idea of “mission” is part of the continuing work of the Church.  Every year we have a “mission appeal” in the parish, where we hear about the mission of the church in different countries. However, the idea of “mission” is a lot more that just collections.  It’s about spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or evangelization.

The work of evangelization is ongoing.  There are people living in the world, and even perhaps in our own city of New Orleans, who have never heard the Gospel message in its fullness.  But we can’t be content to think that this “mission” business is simply the work of professional missionaries or Vatican congregations.  Each of us plays a role.

In the quote above from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, we hear that “we were also chosen.”  By our own baptism, we were incorporated into the mission.  And we participate in it in large and small ways.  Clearly, donating to the mission appeals is aiding the mission of Christ.  But there are other ways that we participate.  Parents serve an important role in the mission by educating their children in the practice of the faith.  Catechists do the same through CCD and RCIA.  Teachers have a mission to teach.  Our parish work, through the St. Vincent de Paul Society and our ministry to the poor, supports the mission.  But, individually we also participate in the mission by the small and large encounters where we have the ability to share our faith and help others to learn about Christ.  We should never miss an opportunity.  At the end of the Mass in Latin, the final charge is “Ite, Missa est.”  It means “go out; it is the mission.”  Just like the Apostles, we’ve come to Jesus in Holy Communion, and then we go out  – having been sent – to live and proclaim the mission of evangelization.
(Rev. Msgr.) Christopher H. Nalty