Mission Month (October) is just around the corner and once again the Church invites us collaborate in a tangible way in bringing the liberating and life-giving message of Jesus Christ to all people who inhabit our planet Earth. We are certainly aware of so many disturbing reports of violence, war, exploitation, abuse, corruption, discrimination and religious persecution happening in too many places in our so called civilised world. What is desperately needed in our world are the values and objectives of the Kingdom that Jesus preached. What is our response to all these tragic realities apart from shaking our heads in disbelieve and maybe making some comments? How are we actively working to change our families, communities, society, country and our world? We are all called to be instruments of positive change and hope, irrespective of our age, situation or status in life, each one has something to offer and has the capacity to be a channel of the new life and hope that Jesus brings.
Do we commend these tragic situations to prayer? Are we genuine witnesses of Jesus in our daily lives, at home, at work, at our places of study, wherever we may be? Do we give testimony not only with our words but more importantly with our lives? Pope Francis with his humble and austere life style coupled with the compassion, love and mercy of Jesus radiating from his daily actions give us a wonderful example of how to be missionaries and disciples of Christ. He has made priority visits to areas of conflict, war and poverty, (Palestine, Israel, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay) to bring Jesus’ message of hope and mercy. He concerns himself with the plight of the homeless, refugees, the sick and the suffering. In an attempt to promote the Universal Mission of the Church in all the dioceses of the SACBC we had a workshop with the Diocesan Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) Directors at Lumko, Benoni in July, which was attended by 21 directors or their representatives. The workshop took the form of an information session on the PMS; its Societies, aims, mission, challenges, achievements and procedures. It also afforded us an opportunity to get to know one another a little better and at least meet in person. From the feedback received it was viewed as positive and helpful. We all agreed that the PMS will only function properly and achieve its mission when the faithful are informed and animated and when everyone here in our local churches collaborates, is enthusiastic and committed. To quote Pope Francis: “Mission is a passion for Jesus and at the same time a passion for His people”.
Fr. Gordon Rees mccj National PMS Director – SA, Botswana & Swaziland