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MISSION SUNDAY OFFICIAL - "Missionary Church, Witness of Mercy"

Oct. 14, 2016

We celebrate World Mission Sunday this year on October 16. This year marks the 90th Anniversary of World Mission Sunday, first approved by Pope Pius XI in 1926. Year after year, the Holy Father dwells on different aspects of the Church's Mission. Pope Francis places this year's celebration in the context of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. He entitles the Message as: "Missionary Church, Witness of Mercy." The Pope affirms: "On this World Mission Sunday, all of us are invited to 'go out' as missionary disciples, each generously off ering their talents, creativity, wisdom and experience in order to bring the message of God's tenderness and compassion to the entire human family."

Pope Francis regards the mercy of God as the "beating heart" of the Gospel. In the Bull of Indication, Misericordiae Vultus, he states so powerfully: "The Church is commissioned to announce the mercy of God, the beating heart of the Gospel, which in its own way must penetrate the heart and mind of every person." That is, indeed, the 'mission' of the Church: to proclaim to all the Mercy of God.

We carry out this missionary mandate of Jesus with joy, even when, at times, we sow with tears (Ps. 126:5). The Pope titled his Apostolic Exhortation 'Evangelii Gaudium', the Joy of the Gospel. He reminds the whole Church: "Finally, an evangelising community is filled with joy; it knows how to rejoice always. It celebrates every small victory, every step forward in the work of evangelisation. Evangelisation with joy becomes beauty in the liturgy as part of our daily concern to spread goodness". (EG 273)

With this in mind, the Proclamation Commission of the Archdiocese has planned a two-day Proclamation Festival at St Pius X College, Goregaon,on October 29 and 30. Details of the Festival are to be found in the current issue of The Examiner. The theme of the Festival, 'Let your Light Shine' (Mt. 5:16) is so apt, indeed, for Diwali, the festival of light.

Promotion material for Mission Sunday has been sent to all parishes. Do use the material for encouraging our people to keep alive an enthusiasm for the mission of spreading the Good News. The collection made at all Masses on the weekend of Oct. 15-16 in solidarity with the Universal Church, makes our contribution to the Church's mission.

+ Oswald Cardinal Gracias
Archbishop of Bombay

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