On World Mission Day, the head of Manila’s Roman Catholic Church called on Filipinos abroad to continue being a ‘testament’ to the universal call to mission.
During Mass at the Pontificio Collegio Filippino in Rome, Cardinal Jose Advincula encouraged the Filipino community to keep “embracing the call to mission, bear witness to Christ’s love, and be steadfast in prayer.”
“Together as a Filipino community in Rome and in Italy, let us continue to be a shining light, a beacon of hope, and a testimony, a testament to the universal call to mission,” Advincula said in his homily.
“Let us remember that our mission is not limited by borders for the love of Christ knows no boundaries,” he said.
The cardinal has been in Rome for the past three weeks attending the month-long Synod on Synodality convened by Pope Francis.
The liturgy was concelebrated by Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig, the vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, who is also one of the four Philippine delegates to the synod.
Advincula also stressed that mission is not reserved for a select few but is “a duty and privilege for every Christian”.
“So let us embrace our call to mission with open hearts and willing spirits,” he added.
Vergara, for his part, stated that Filipinos, not only in Rome but around the world, have been “exemplary witnesses of faith”.
“And in so doing have shown them the value of prayer not only in their life as missionaries but also in our lives as Christians,” he said.
World Mission Day — also known as World Mission Sunday — was established by Pope Pius XI in 1926.
Pope Francis has taken many steps to encourage the faithful to recognize themselves as missionary disciples; working and praying together to share God’s love with everyone, everywhere.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Hearts on Fire, Feet on the Move,” based on the story of the disciples who encounter Jesus on their way to Emmaus.
The pope invited the Catholics to “set out once more, illumined by our encounter with the risen Lord and prompted by his Spirit. Let us set out again with burning hearts, with our eyes open and our feet in motion.”
“Let us set out to make other hearts burn with the word of God, to open the eyes of others to Jesus in the Eucharist, and to invite everyone to walk together on the path of peace and salvation that God, in Christ, has bestowed upon all humanity,” he said.
This article was first published by CBCPNews