Today we celebrate World Mission Sunday. It is a Sunday set aside in the year:
(1) To pray for growth in the mission of the Church;
(2) Reflect on the importance of mission and therefore reward one another of our roles in the fulfillment of the mission;
(3) Bring to awareness again that no matter where we are in the world, we are part of a universal mission in character;
(4) Because the mission is universal in character and the mission is for the whole world, we are called on Mission Sunday to make financial contribution to the realisation of the mission.
We must make it part of our daily prayers to ask God to bless our efforts at missionary work, knowing very well that when the Lord blesses the efforts, we do not labour in vain. We may have brilliant plans, work out wonderful strategies for missionary activities and mobilise for evangelisation, unless we invite the Lord, we shall be wasting time/energy. I ask that we include, in our prayer intention, success of the missionary efforts of the Church. The evangelisation/mission activities of the Church are being challenged by all sorts of factors in the world of today.
A world that has qualified relativism; man and his desires are supposed to be the measure of what is good, what is right and so good; the word of God and His Church are not counted as anything, especially in the West. We live in a world that the shortcomings, failures and sins of we, the followers of Christ stand as obstacles to people to accepting Christ, lay and clergy alike. We live in a world that the militancy of other religions is making it difficult to spread the good news or even to practice, in such areas of the world as Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, North East Nigeria etc.
We need to pray for the mission of the Church to bring His gospel to the evils of the earth. Today we are reminded that the Church exists for not only nurturing our faith as members and guiding us on the way to heaven, but also so that we can bring those who do not yet believe to the knowledge of Christ, as given to us in the Church founded by Christ on the rock of St. Peter. • Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins is the Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos.
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