By Cassien, sx.
On this day when the whole Church celebrates the World Mission Day in order to promote both the enthusiasm and commitment to the Mission, I always remember the inspiring words of Pope Benedict XVI during the Mass for the canonization of our Founder St Guido Maria Conforti along with St Aloysius Guanella, and St Bonifacia Rodriguez de Castro. He pointed out Conforti’s strong character in following God’s will which enabled him not only to recognize God’s plan in every circumstance but also to perceive ‘the urgent’ desire, hidden in the heart of every person, to receive and welcome the salvific good news.
Conforti’s steadfast love to God and his neighbor shaped our specific Charism for mission to non- Christians. Thus, following the mandate of the Gospel ‘to go and make disciples of all nations’ (Mt 28,19), Xaverians Missionaries are sent to proclaim to Gospel to non-Christians beyond our own cultural milieu and local church. In the same way, Pope Francis’s message for the World Mission Sunday 2016 invites all Christians to consider the mission ad gentes as the great, immense spiritual and material work of mercy; to ‘go out’ as missionary disciples to bring message of God’s tenderness and compassion to the entire human family.
Conforti, whom we celebrate the 5th anniversary of canonization, wanted to become missionary. For some reasons he couldn’t join to any missionary congregation, but at the end he founded the Xaverain Missionaries. Since then, he became the Father of great number of missionaries, the promoter of missionary clergy, and a model of holiness for the whole Church.
I would like to end up by this question: with all your talents, experiences, etc., what are you doing to continue God’s mission? For this 90th anniversary of world Mission day, through the intersession of St Guido M. Conforti and the numerous pioneers of the Mission, let’s be inspired and guided by their zeal and open our heart to all humanity.