Our Mission Newsletter Edition No 12 – South Africa

Pontfical So 02-2017 logoDear Friends,

I sincerely hope that you are experiencing the peace and joy of the Risen Christ during this Liturgical Season of Easter.

Jesus’ Resurrection is the event central to our Faith and we need to spend time in reflection and prayer for the extent of its reality to take effect in our daily lives. This season should challenge us to see to what extent the Risen Lord has impacted our lives, are we people of hope, of joy, of peace? The realities of life no matter how burdening and complex should not be what dominates our existence. Jesus’ victory over sin and death should set us free from the “slaveries” that imprison us and stop us from reaching our full potential and true happiness.

Eastertide is a time for rejoicing and celebrating our redemption in Christ Jesus, however it would often appear that we find it easier to live the periods of Lent and Advent than that of Easter and Christmas – do we find reflecting on our sinfulness and need for conversion easier than that of celebrating our new life in Christ?

Xt copieAs we now move to the celebration of the Ascension of our Lord it is important for us to recall the last words of Jesus to his disciples: “go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19) – this so called “Great Commission” must not be overlooked or taken lightly by us, the disciples of Jesus. This is the last wish, the final instruction of the Master to us and this should indicate how important it was for Him and should also be for us. This needs to become our priority focus with regard to our Christian faith. If we are not evangelizing, bringing the Good News and liberation of Christ to others, then we have missed the very reason for our existence as Christians, the very essence of our Faith.

The Resurrection message needs to be made manifest to all people of all times and this is only possible when you and I do our part in living the Gospel values and are witnesses of the living Christ.

The stark reality is that the so many people live without a notion or experience of Jesus Christ in their lives. Many because they have never heard the Good News of Christ proclaimed to them, others because the witness they have received from so-called Christians has not been convincing and others still, due to indifference or hardened hearts. We as Missionary Disciples need to tirelessly proclaim the love and mercy of Jesus Christ to our world of today. We need also to support the universal missionary efforts of the Church by praying for and supporting the Missions and the Missionaries.

May the Holy Spirit whom we await in the celebration of Pentecost awaken in us that same missionary spirit of the early Church that we read about in the Acts of the Apostles.

Gordon Rees

Fr. Gordon Rees mccj, National Director, Missio SACBC / PMS -South Africa, Botswana & Swaziland

Our Mission12

Edition of OUR MISSION – March 2016, No 7

Capture JPEGWe 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!

Risen ChristThe 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.

Sisters killed in Yemen JPEG