We are in Holy Week and the final days before the celebration of the central feast of our faith as Christians – The Resurrection of Jesus! This is an important moment for us to take time and reflect on what Jesus’ Resurrection means for us, each one personally, in particularly in this Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Jesus took the pilgrimage to Jerusalem aware that this was the journey of His passion and death but also trusting that He would rise from the dead after 3 days, victorious over sin and death and having fulfilled the plan of Salvation of His Father for all humankind.
Each of us is on their own specific pilgrimage of life—a journey that will not always be easy, and times maybe exceptionally difficult and death also awaits each one of us. It may be a so called ‘natural death’, it may be a death caused by sickness or a tragic accident, it might be martyrdom like experienced by 4 Sisters of Charity in Yemen (see page 3). We don’t know what this Missionary Disciple journey holds in store for us. However we do trust in the promise of Jesus as to what the final destination of our journey will be — our own resurrection and eternal life with our loving God.
Both Easter time and this Jubilee Year of Mercy are opportune moments for us to renew (or begin to take up) our responsibilities related to our Baptism and to live as Missionary Disciples of Jesus Christ our Lord whom we have promised to serve. The Universal Mission of the Church is the responsibility of each of the baptized and a calling to witness Jesus and His liberating message of Good News to all. Nobody is excluded from the New Life and mercy that Jesus offers!
The Risen Christ is inviting us to be His witnesses to all those whom we encounter. We cannot be a true Christian and at the same time be indifferent to the reality of those who live without hope, joy, dignity and God in their lives. These too have the same Heavenly Father as you and me. They too have been redeemed through the Precious Blood shed by Jesus Christ our Lord and Brother.
These too have the same Heavenly Father as you and me. They too have been redeemed through the Precious Blood shed by Jesus Christ our Lord and Brother.
We need to live our Christian calling and vocation as Missionary Disciples and be instruments in the hands of Jesus. The joy, hope, peace and mercy we have received we need to pass on to those around us, those who journey with us in one way or another in this pilgrimage of life. We manifest our Missionary Discipleship by our prayers for the missions, missionaries, the suffering and needy of the world, by our daily witness through concrete actions of mercy and charity, through our presence and through kindness in word and deed to those who are most abandoned and excluded in our society.
May the Spirit of the Risen Lord set us alight with passion and joy in bringing His message of Good News to all! A very Joyful and Blessed Easter to all of you!
Fr. Gordon Rees mccj, National (Missio SACBC) PMS Director – South Africa, Botswana & Swaziland
Headlines: Attackers kill 16 people, including 4 nuns, inside Catholic facility established by Mother Teresa’s charity in Aden. Pope Francis ‘shocked’ by attack on Yemen care home.