As Christians we live in the world and are involved with things of the world. We are called to make a positive contribution to the society in which we live informed by the words and actions of Jesus. Today's words of Jesus from Matthew 22:15-21connect with this, 'Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.' We are made in God's image and our whole being belongs to God. We simply give back what we have already received from God's bounty even those things we find challenging.
To continue to be positive and engaged in our secular society isn't always easy. We can prefer not to rock the boat and simply accept the way things are and at times be weighed down by it. The message from Pope Francis on this Mission Sunday is helpful. He is speaking about the Disciples on the Road to Emmaus..... 'their hearts burned within them as they heard the Scriptures explained by Jesus, their eyes were opened as they recognized him and, ultimately, their feet set out on the way...…. Today, as then, the Risen Lord remains close to his missionary disciples and walks beside them, particularly when they feel disoriented, discouraged, fearful of the mystery of iniquity that surrounds them and seeks to overwhelm them. So, “let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of hope!” (Evangelii Gaudium, 86). The Lord is greater than all our problems, above all if we encounter them in our mission of proclaiming the Gospel to the world. For in the end, this mission is his and we are nothing more than his humble co-workers, “useless servants” (cf. Lk 17:10).
That call to mission, his mission is each of our responsibility according to our age and particular state in life. I find the words of Pope Francis encouraging and inspirational as we continue to live out that mission. However, Mission Sunday is also a time to be mindful of those who have been called to evangelize in distant lands and are often experiencing extreme hardships, physically and emotionally. Our prayers and financial contributions can go along way to support them in often trying situations.
Again from the Pope's message which I hope you find helpful when reflecting on your own life and present situation in this world we live, Those who allow themselves to be saved by him are freed from sin, from sadness, from inner emptiness, from isolation. With Jesus Christ, joy is always born and reborn” (Evangelii Gaudium, 1). One cannot truly encounter the risen Jesus without being set on fire with enthusiasm to tell everyone about him. Therefore, the primary and principal resource of the mission are those persons who have come to know the risen Christ in the Scriptures and in the Eucharist, who carry his fire in their heart and his light in their gaze. They can bear witness to the life that never dies, even in the most difficult of situations and in the darkest of moments.
You may like to listen to , 'How can we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land' from Pilgrims of the Heart. It has a particular Marist and international focus but has a positive vibe that each and everyone of us can sing 'the Lord's song' as Mary did in the context of our lives.
Blessings on your week.