ARTICLE FOR CHURCH NEWSPAPERS
Mission Sunday article ~ 16th October 2016
'An Awesome Journey'
– by Julia Beacroft
I HAVE sometimes thought that the young people in our communities use a language that is entirely their own, a language with which they are perfectly at ease and which their peers easily and readily understand. Let me give a few examples: ‘Bad’ meaning good(!), ‘Fit’ meaning attractive, ‘Buff’ as in muscly, ‘Gross’ meaning unpleasant, ‘Sick’ which means impressive or enjoyable and so the list goes on…
And my twenty-three year old twins are no exception to this. They refer to ‘selfies’, tell me “Nice one!” when I’ve earned their approval and frequently allude to ‘Lol’ (laugh out loud), when I’ve cracked a joke. As this has been going on for a few years, I can probably boast that I’m now fairly up to speed with most of their words and expressions.
Yet a few weeks ago I found myself surprised by a turn of phrase my son produced. I had explained to him that I was feeling a bit tired as I’d done a lot of walking that day and when he asked where I had been, I give details of the route I had taken.
“Wow, that’s a mission, Mum” he exclaimed in admiration.
I will readily admit that this was new ground for me. I was definitely unfamiliar with this term. However, the meaning was clear enough – he was referring to a journey of great length.
On 16th October the Catholic Church again celebrates Mission Sunday, when we pray for missions and the church declares its commitment to missionary organisation. Last year, as part of Pope Francis’ message for World Mission Day he said:
‘The mission of the servants of the Word – bishops, priests, religious and laity – is to allow everyone, without exception, to enter into a personal relationship with Christ.’
A Journey with Christ: 'The Way to Emmaus'
by German painter Robert Zund (1827 - 1909).
Upon reflection, I was stuck by the fact that possibly my son’s use of the word ‘mission’ (interpreted as lengthy journey) was not so wide of the mark after all. Pope Francis reminds us that the mission of all is to have an intimate relationship with the Lord. Yet of course, in so doing we embark upon our own journey of faith. On Mission Sunday we share our love and concern for our overseas brothers and sisters, with our charitable donations journeying to distant shores to supply the aid that is so necessary. And not least of all is the fact that we are a missionary church, thereby spreading the Gospel of Christ to all and in so doing journeying and following the same path as the Lord himself.
So on this coming Mission Sunday, may we remember others who are less fortunate than ourselves and delight in our journey in Christ. And finally, if anyone asks why you are a follower of Christ – tell them that it’s because he is cool, awesome and wicked! Nice one!
(ENDS - 473 words)
Julia Beacroft is a catechist and pastoral volunteer who lives in Torquay.
Her first book ‘Sanctifying the Spirit’ is now available to buy.
Please visit www.sanciobooks.com for more information or order from AMAZON.