There’s nothing quite like hearing the priest or deacon declare, “The Mass is ended,” after a particularly challenging hour with squirmy, uncooperative, and loud children in tow.
“Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord,” he exhorts. Or . . . “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life,” he encourages.
“Thanks be to GOD!!” I have often responded just a wee bit too enthusiastically.
However, do I truly believe and sincerely mean what I’ve just thanked God for, or am I already mentally herding the children to the minivan so we can move on to the next item on the day’s agenda?
Thanks be to God . . . that I, like Saint Paul, am called to announce the Gospel of the Lord? Really?
Thanks be to God . . . that I, like the Psalmist, am called to glorify the Lord by my life, proclaiming His faithfulness to all generations? Honestly?
Thanks be to God . . . that I, by the very nature of my baptism, am sent on a mission from God to proclaim liberty to captives and healing to the broken-hearted?
Today’s readings remind us that we are all called to be missionaries—each and every one of us—by the very nature of our Christian baptism. We are to be His light and His love in whatever “mission” territory God has placed us: in our homes, at school, at work, at the gas station. Some of us have no problem speaking up, like Saint Paul in the synagogues or Saint John the Baptist crying out in the wilderness or the Psalmist declaring God’s steadfastness. Others of us prefer a quieter, more actions-based approach of service and prayer, yet we must all bring the saving news of Jesus’ death and resurrection to those around us.
So . . . how can you glorify God in your mission field? Perhaps you can start by offering up small sacrifices, inconveniences, preferences, and prayers just like Saint Therese of Lisieux, a cloistered nun named by the Church as patroness of the missions, so that God’s glory may be known and His Name praised around the world. Maybe you can start studying more about our Catholic faith so you can be prepared, as Saint Peter tells us, to give a reason for your hope.
Your mission to love begins right where God has you today—in this moment. How will you share Him?
Heather Anderson Renshaw is a writer, speaker, and uplifter on a mission to love and serve God with her husband and five children in the Pacific NW. You can learn more abut her here.