MISSION SUNDAY ZECH.8:20-23/PS 19/ ROM10:9-18/MARK16:15-20 BAPTIZED AND SENT

MISSION SUNDAY ZECH.8:20-23/PS 19/ ROM10:9-18/MARK16:15-20 BAPTIZED AND SENT

Today the Church celebrates the 93rd edition of the World Mission Sunday. The Holy Father, Pope Fracis has called for an Extraordinary Missionary Month to be celebrated throughout the whole month of October, 2019. In the light of this we are expected to organize different activities at diocesan level, parish level, societies and groups in the church, seminaries, religious houses, and the likes. The Pope believes that celebrating this month will help us rediscover the missionary dimension of our faith in Christ Jesus, a faith graciously bestowed on us in baptism. Today, the practice of our faith as individual as a church does not go beyond attending masses and societal meetings. The missionary dimension is almost forgotten so a day like serves as a fast reminder to launch us into evangelization.

In the gospel reading Mark16:15 Jesus says “Go into all the world, and preach the Good News to the whole creation”. This instruction is meant for all of us. Every baptized Christian is to preach, we have been sent on mission. But we should ask ourselves what is our mission, or what is my mission. As a Church mission is our identity. We must continue to reach out to people. Mission keeps the Church alive; if the Church does not send it ends.  The greatness of a Church is not in its seating capacity but in its sending capacity. The second reading of today says how they to believe without a preacher? Every baptized is a preacher. When one is baptized, he or she is expected to be productive.  That is why we say redemption is not reduction. We have not been redeemed to reduce; we have been redeemed to produce. In Gen. 1:28 God said be fruitful and multiply… in Matt.28:19 Jesus “go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” in John15:5 Jesus says I am the vine and you are the branches remain in me and I you and you will bear much fruits. Therefore, let us go into (Auchi) today and bear fruit. In Matt.3:10 and Luke 3: 9 Jesus says The ax lies ready at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

The Gospel continues “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned”. Baptism is a sacrament which cleanse us of original sin makes us Christian, Children of God and members of the Church. Baptism is necessary for salvation. When man was created he was in the state of original justice, but when he sinned he fell into original sin. Therefore baptism comes to restore back to original justice; where man is at one with God. Even Jesus was baptize; baptizing marked the beginning of his public ministry. Baptism therefore is the beginning of Christianity.   If you are in the Church and you are not yet baptized; you are not Christian but a churcher (one who goes to church) and of course not all those who go to church are Christian. Some of us we give their life to Christ on Sunday and on Monday we take it back. Matt.7:21 not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he  that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. he wills that we are be saved Ezek.18:23 says  that we all turn from our evil ways and live. Therefore, as the gospel says believe and be baptized; if you don’t believe you will be condemned.

The Gospel continues “These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new languages” (v. 17). In the Old Testament, signs and wonders served primarily to testify to God’s power. In the New Testament, signs are also used to validate the ministry of Christ’s disciples. That is how the word signs is used in this verse. The signs mentioned in Mark 16:17-18 (with the exception of drinking deadly substances) seem to be derived from stories in the book of Acts. Acts 2 tells of disciples speaking in new languages (speaking in tongues and praying in tongues). in Acts 9:12, 17-18 Saul’s eyesight was restored by the laying on of hands. Acts 16 tells of Paul exorcising a demon. Acts 28:1-6 tells of Paul being bitten by a poisonous serpent with no ill effects.

But one thing we must bear in mind is that these signs were worked by the authority in the name of Jesus. It says in his name… there is power in the name of Jesus… the second reading of today says “everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”  Acts 4:12 there is no other name in heaven and earth upon which we are saved …. Matt.18:20 where two or three … Mark 9:38 John said to him “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name. Luke 10:17 the 70 returned with joy saying  Lord even the demons were subject to us in your name, Phil 2:10 at the mention of the name of Jesus every kneel must bow. By that reason of that name you will testify and your expectations will not be cut short.  

Today I am grateful to God for his grace upon my life as I mark my first priestly anniversary. Zec 4:6 says “This is the word Of The Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says The Lord of Hosts. It is by power I have made my fist count and am still counting. Thank you all for your prayers and care.

Fr. Dan Evbotokhai
20/10/2019

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Fr. Daniel Evbotokhai is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria. He was ordained October 20th, 2018. He offers his daily homilies, talks and articles that bother on, faith, theology, morals and many other burning issues in religion and politics. Fr. Daniel writes poems, inspirational quotes and clips.

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