Communities of missionary disciples going forth in joy to share the Good News of God's love. We're on a mission to discover God's love and share it with others. The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers were founded almost 100 years ago to animate and support the Catholic Church in the U.S. to live up to its baptismal call to participate in the Christ's mission to bring the Good News of God's love to the world.
We all arrived safely and are staying at the Maryknoll House in Nairobi. After a relaxing morning we did a little site seeing downtown. Tomorrow we will be at the Maryknoll Institute for African Studies.
"Jesus came to bring joy to the world." As the website "Jesus Laughing" explains, this is a central understanding of Jesus' nature and mission, yet we too often forget it - or never grasp it in the first place. But in encountering, breaking bread with, healing, and loving those in His community, He shared in a celebration of God's love and salvation which continues to this day. And the people with whom he most shared this joy - children, the poor, people with disablities - were precisely the people that the rest of us tend to forget about.
This message stands at the heart mission, and thus of our own identity as Christians. Yet we can easily become bogged down with all of our roles and responsibilities in life, even when we are trying to do good work. I'll admit that even the great opportunities provided by work for Maryknoll can also prove stressful. For instance, traveling to the Maryknoll Society building in Ossining, NY, for the first time last week …
We are pleased to present this Pentecost Homily by Deacon Noe Tuason, which was delivered at St. John the Baptist on Pentecost Sunday, July 12, 2011. Deacon Noe will going on a mission immersion trip with Maryknoll to East Africa in a couple weeks. The Holy Spirit who descended on the disciples on the day of Pentecost, is the same Spirit who descended upon us when we were baptized, and when we were confirmed. The Spirit who formed the disciples into a community and moved them, is the same Spirit who animates our Church. The Mission that Jesus gave the disciples at that time, is the same Mission given to each and every one of us, no matter who we are. What is this mission? Do you know? This mission, our mission is to tell the whole world, that Jesus, by dying on the cross and rising after three days, and by ascending into heaven, gave us the chance of rising too after we die and being united with God, in Heaven, in His love, for all eternity. This is the Gospel, the Good News of o…
As we get ready to celebrate the great feast of Pentecost this coming weekend, we're reminded of how the Holy Spirit animated a small group of frightened and confused disciples to change the world. This first generation of missionaries took bold steps to cross barriers and leave their comfort zones to bring the message of God's love to a world that was parched and dry.
Mission has many paths. Witness and proclamation are the best known. But the paths also include offering the world the gift of Catholic social teaching to help make sense of difficult social issues. As Pope John Paul II reminded us, we are called to spread the Good New not only across geographic borders, but cultural ones as well. This brings mission into the thicket of the complex and controversial social and political issues of our day. Issues like immigration, poverty/development, death penalty and abortion. Even here, and perhaps especially here, we need to bring and proclaim love.