24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Volunteers Mass
Many organizations today have “mission statements.” Once they were the domain of religious organizations, they are now produced by institutions, both secular and religious. These mission statements tell the purpose of the institution, what they do, what they are about.
Jesus had a mission statement.
I think as disciples we should all have our own personal mission statement…..that inspires us to say and do everything in the name of Jesus.
Timothy’s letter today gives us the mission statement of Jesus; “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” That’s the purpose of his life, his reason for taking on human flesh and living our life, the reason for his life’s work and, of course the reason for his, his death and resurrection – to save sinners!
Today’s Gospel tells us what motivated Jesus, what was in his heart as he carried out the mission of His Father.
The parables in the gospel reveal the very heart of God, and we get a glimpse of the passion of God lived out in Jesus and directed toward sinners. …towards us.
The diligent and thorough searching of the shepherd for the lost sheep, the relentless looking of the woman for the lost coin find their greatest expression in the rejoicing that takes place at their finding. That excitement and rejoicing at finding what was lost is the same as the passion and the rejoicing in the heart of God for us.
The lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son, the prodigal son………the well-known Parable of the Prodigal Son tells us about the father waiting patiently and rejoicing at the son’s return. God does the same for us, God waits patiently and rejoices when we return to him…because that is the mission statement of Jesus -“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”
Today’s Scriptures invite us to imagine that we are the ones God is searching for. We are receive the gaze of love that we see on the face of the father waiting for his son’s return. We are also invited to the embrace the truth that we are the source of God’s joy, God wants to find us and gift us with love.
When we know what God does for us we cannot help but respond with deep gratitude. This parish, all the parishes , the Archdiocese and all organization are full of people who give of their time, treasure and talents with great generosity, they do so to help the mission of the Church.
Today is also the beginning of Social Justice Week, this is a very powerful – and educative week, in the Church’s Calendar every year. With this year’s theme being “We all have a migration story: Fostering a culture of encounter” we can easily reflect on how many people so wonderfully and generously welcome refugees and migrants. One of the things we are sent to do when we leave Mass every Sunday is to “welcome the stranger.” Jesus tells us- and we are reminded in this Year of Mercy to “Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, visit the sick and imprisoned, welcome the stranger…all of those things are part of our Church’s Mission Statement.
We know that we have been entrusted by God with many gifts, we have also been entrusted by God with a stewardship of the many gifts God gives us.
That’s why each of us also needs our own Mission Statement. We need to know how we are going to receive the gifts of God with GRATITUDE
How we are going to cultivate them with RSPONSIBILITY
How we will share them GENEROUSLY
And how we will RETURN them to God with increase.
I want to thank all of you who give your time and energy to the Church, in whatever way that is. There are hundreds and hundreds of tasks carried out every week, endless ways in which you and probably 1000’s of others give to the church.
Look at these examples and give thanks. …………………