During this term our students look at “Mission”. In the lead up to Advent and Christmas, the concept of Mission has particular significance. Mary and Joseph embodied a life of Mission as do many of our ancient and modern day saints.
Our readings on the weekend tell us much about Mission and our relationship with God. The first reading from Exodus tells that Mission is about commitment. The second reading from Paul to Timothy we hear “proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. Refute falsehood, correct error, call to obedience – but do all with patience and with the intention of teaching.” In this we hear that Mission requires persistence.
The Gospel then comes from Luke in which we hear perhaps one of the most misunderstood sections of scripture. It deals with our earthly experience of badgering someone repeatedly until you get what you want. It then refers the same situation to badgering God in prayer, hoping to wear Him down to get what we want. But the reading finishes with the most important but regularly left-off sentence which is the most important: “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?” This turns the previous account on its head. What it really tells us is that Faith in God is not about badgering God for Him to do our will but Listening to God for us to better understand and then do His will. This is our Mission as told to us through the life of Christ. God is not a benevolent dictator whom we seek to persuade. God is our loving Father who already has given us all we need.
Our Mission is to make lives of happiness and bounty for all our brothers and sisters. We can ask “How does God allow millions to starve in the world?” The reality is that the world is increasingly populated by both ends of the hunger issue - the starving and the clinically obese. Asking God for more food won’t address this imbalance. Wrongs in the world like this are Our Mission. He is doing our part - we need to do ours!
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