This weekend, Catholics celebrate Mission Sunday. It is an annual opportunity to recall the intrinsically missionary nature of the universal and local Church. It is a yearly reminder that all the baptised, by the very nature of our Christian calling, are sent by God on mission to others.
Pope Francis, in his message for Mission Sunday 2015, says: "Mission is a passion for Jesus and at the same time a passion for his people." We must be passionately concerned to share the good news about Jesus with, primarily, "the poor, the little ones and the sick, those who are often looked down upon or forgotten, those who cannot repay us" (Pope Francis, cf. Lk 14:13-14). In the Gospel that will be read in many churches this Sunday, we will hear the cry of the blind man, Bartimaeus: "Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me!" (Mark 10:46-52). Using that title of the Saviour, 'Son of David', which clearly identifies him as the promised deliverer and champion of all God's people, Bartimaeus gives voice to the heartfelt plea of all vulnerable humanity.
Although the eyes of his body are blind, Bartimaeus recognises with his heart the near presence of the light of the world, the "true light" who is the life of every human being (Jn 1:4). That light shines today when we, all Christians, become more and more, living instruments of mercy, charity and healing, for our brothers and sisters - most especially - the poor.
Not all of us are called to travel to far off lands and work for God. For most of us, our mission is at home, to serve those closest to us and those who come from elsewhere seeking our help.
God calls us to recognise Christ in the poor and vulnerable, reaching out to them in practical loving service.
Every true Christian is a missionary and must be engaged in passionate living of the Gospel, which is not so much about words, but a real, living and active charity, which turns no one away.