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2020.09.10 12:03

5465(III)_Here I am, Send Me!

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A Missionary Thought for the 11th of the Month

By Fr. Alfred Maravilla, SDB
General Councilor for Missions

Rome, Italy, 10 September 2020 -- For many years now, every last Sunday of September the Rector Major presides at the missionary sends off at the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians at Valdocco. Due to the pandemic this year’s send-off of the 151st missionary expedition has been postponed to a later date.

Jesus is the Father’s Missionary: He was sent by the Father; his life and ministry reveal his willingness to be sent and his total obedience to the Father’s will (Jn 4:34). Jesus, in turn, draws us into his mission and sends us on a mission to the whole world. The Church’s mission is to evangelise. Today she continues to send out evangelisers everywhere (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 15) so that, through our witness of faith and the proclamation of the Gospel, people may come to know Jesus. Indeed, the missionary vocation in the Church is above all an ever-new response to the Lord’s question: “Whom shall I send?” This is an invitation to step out of ourselves, to get out of our comfort zones and make a free and conscious response to make ourselves totally available wherever the Lord will send us: “Here I am, send me!” (Is 6,8)

The Salesian missionary vocation is a participation in the Church’s missionary nature (Ad gentes, 2). While every Salesian is called to live the missionary spirit, which is an essential element of Don Bosco’s charism, some Salesians are called to be missionaries ad exteros (outside one’s own country or culture), ad vitam (as a lifetime commitment). The Salesian missionary vocation is a special call within our common Salesian vocation. As such it needs prayer and discernment with the help of a spiritual guide. Thanks to Salesian missionaries since 1875, Don Bosco’s charism is now present in 134 countries. Once ascertained one can write directly to the Rector Major making known his total availability wherever he will be sent. Is the Lord calling you to be a missionary?

Questions for Reflection and Sharing

§ Is God calling me to be a missionary?

§ How can we live Don Bosco’s missionary spirit today?

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