This Sunday the Pope Francis celebrated mass with seminarians, novices, consecrated laypersons, and celery, in his homily he reflected on their being called and sent by the Lord. We typically associate being called and sent by the Lord with the ordained and consecrated. However, all baptized Christians are called and sent by the Lord. God’s calling is not by happenstance. God personally calls each person. Each has a particular mission that God has prepared them for, and for which they will be accountable. For this reason, I believe that Pope Francis’ remarks are germane to all baptized Christians.
Each calling includes a sending forth, a mission to bring the Lord to others. Pope Francis spoke of three elements associated with calling and sending forth: solace of being called; the Cross; and prayer.
The joy of solace of being called is an invitation to experience God’s love and consoling embrace more deeply. It is the experience of God’s love and embrace that allows for effective witness. Every Christian, “is called to be a bearer of this message of hope that gives serenity and joy: God’s consolation, his tenderness towards all.” The Pope emphasized that Christians are called “to bear witness to the mercy and tenderness of the Lord, which warms the heart, rekindles hope, and attracts people towards the good.”
Pope Francis further indicated that our solace comes from “the Cross that is always present with Christ”. It is a symbol of “suffering, weakness and defeat, but also joy and consolation,” and if we remain within the mystery of the Cross, “we are sheltered both from a worldly and triumphalistic view of mission and from the discouragement that can result from trials and failures.”
Regarding the prayerful aspect of our mission, Pope Francis said that bring Christ to the world is “is done on one’s knees” and requires “a constant relationship with God.” For this reason, prayer is important for evangelization. Through prayer we are to let our “heart be the more closely united to Christ’s heart, full of mercy and love.” It is important for each of us to “cultivate the contemplative dimension, even amid the whirlwind of more urgent and pressing duties.”
I believe the Pope’s words contain an important message for all who seek to bring Christ Crucified to a world so in need of His Love and Mercy. Peace and Grace.