Faithful to Jesus’ command, his followers have made the commission to “go and teach all nations” their own. At this time and in this place we are the people who have received the gift of faith. Our faith is a gift received, and a gift to be given.
There are still millions of people in God’s world who have not had the opportunity to hear the Good News, or to have access to the faith. As disciples of Jesus in the present day it is within our power and capacity to pass on the gift we have received. We are all able to pray that the Good News of Jesus will be heard and embraced by those who seek. We are all able to pray that there will be messengers – women, men, lay people, priests, religious – who are willing to work among those who have not yet encountered Christ.
In developing countries the material poverty of the people means that the Church needs support as it provides pastoral care, education and healthcare. The Church in these countries needs assistance in training seminarians, in the provision of spiritual formation and in its evangelizing mission.
Today, Sunday 24 October, is World Mission Day. On this day we are asked to turn our minds and hearts to the needs of the Church in countries beyond our own, to pray, and if possible, to contribute to the collection for the missions taken up in parishes throughout the world. In New Zealand, MISSIONZ – the New Zealand arm of the Pontifical Mission Societies - takes up this collection with the full support of the bishops.
Please respond as generously as you can to the Mission Sunday collection. You can do this through your planned giving envelopes, the special MISSIONZ envelope or by contributing to a retiring collection at the end of Mass. You can put your Mission Sunday envelope in the collection plate this week or sometime in the next few weeks. You can also send your contribution directly to MISSIONZ.
The gift of faith which we have received is a gift which must be offered to others, and our prayers and financial assistance enable the Church to do this throughout the world. We thank you for your support.
Archbishop of Wellington
Bishop of Auckland
Bishop of Dunedin
Bishop of Christchurch
Bishop of Palmerston North
Bishop of Hamilton
World Mission Sunday, 24 October 2010