Every year the Church celebrates World Mission Sunday, Domund. It is a day to combine prayer, financial contribution and missionary awareness. All this to continue offering the world what Jesus requested of us, his followers: Go all over the world and proclaim the Good News, the Gospel.
There has been much discussion about whether the Church should continue to mission in countries with a non-Christian culture. Certain episodes in civil and political history, which are closely intertwined with chapters in the history of the Church, overshadow part of the mission.
Specifically, Pope Francis, as Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI did (it must be noted so that the current Pope cannot be accused of inventing anything) have asked for public forgiveness for the serious excesses and abuses that were committed during the colonization and evangelization of America. However, shading does not mean that you have to turn everything into an act of evil. If this were the case, Fray Junipero Serra or Fray Bartolomé de las Casas would not have emerged..
For centuries the Church has been present, in the person of missionaries, in very distant corners, strangers, alien to our faith, to announce that
That God is the Father of all and that, for this reason, we are all called to live in a single family, that of the children of God, that of those redeemed by Jesus Christ, that of those baptized by the Spirit, the People of God who walk in history, the Church of Christ.
And thus, we have called to conversion, letting them know that as children of the same Father we should live as brothers. Some have believed it, others are still receiving this doctrine that they were unaware of and, sadly, we have not yet reached all of them and, therefore, some do not know it. But we would like them to know it, that is, we would like to propose to them this divine filiation and this Christian brotherhood.
But lo and behold, some of them return our visit and knock on our door demanding help. It is the so-called “refugee crisis”. They have been left without bread and without a roof. To tell the truth, rather from the West they have been left without it.
The arms race needs wars. Nobody makes weapons to store them and not sell them. Only by creating situations that lead to conflict are these weapons released from their warehouses and, at the same time, the manufacture of new ones is encouraged. It is evident that those who have their source of wealth in that manufacture, neither manufacture them so as not to sell them nor will they be content with not being able to manufacture more.
The result is that with the weapons that the West sells, entire cities have been destroyed. What do we expect these our brothers to do? Well, the same thing we would do. If my house falls, I have to call my family’s house and ask for shelter, shelter, welcome, a real and authentic exercise of fraternity.
In short, it is a call for coherence between what we preach so well and what we barely live. We know from Jesus himself that it is he himself who is knocking at my door: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
This has happened before in history. One of the first times is related in the book of Exodus. There was a famine and the Hebrew people migrated to Egypt. How nice that they were welcomed! But a later pharaoh and his advisers made mathematical calculations, and little solidarity, and said to each other: they have many children, they are “hebraising” our Egypt.
It does not sound familiar to you, it is what we say to excuse ourselves from our duty to welcome the stranger: “It is that they are Islamizing us …” In Egypt, with this very sad attitude, they killed so many children. We seem to be willing to die of hunger, cold and disease. It is another way to kill.
It is not enough to go on a mission, which you have to do, but you also have to be willing to be consistent with what we offer to missionaries. The opposite is scamming.
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