Mission Scripture


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March 1, 2017

Ash Wednesday

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As we begin Lent, we contemplate the meaning of this season and how we can use this time to better serve our Lord. We tend to think of Lent as a solemn time of penance when we focus on the Passion of Christ. While this concept is true, it is also incomplete. Ash Wednesday leads us not only to Good Friday, but also to Easter Sunday. We Christians know the ultimate outcome of Jesus’ life on earth was not His death but His resurrection. Knowing this we can appreciate Lent as a time to show our thanksgiving to our Lord by growing closer to Him in thought, word and deed.

This season is an opportunity to embrace our belief in our Savior and recognize Him as our model of life and love. We can start by approaching traditional Lenten observances by joining with Jesus’ own sacrifice in a spirit of gratitude. “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them;... But when you give alms... when you pray… when you fast… your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you” (Matthew 6:1, 3, 5, 16, 18). Let us serve our Lord each day with gladness.

March 5, 2017

First Sunday of Lent

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On this first Sunday in Lent, the Gospel reveals Jesus who has just spent 40 days fasting and praying in the desert. He is confronted by the devil who three times tempts the Son of God to turn away from the will of His Father. Each time Jesus refuses the tempter. Finally, “Jesus said to him, ‘Get away, Satan! It is written: The Lord, your God, shall you worship and Him alone shall you serve.’ Then the devil left Him and, behold, angels came and ministered to Him” (Matthew 4:10-11).

Our Savior is one with the Father in the Holy Spirit in truth, goodness and love. He is incapable then of putting His earthly wants before those of His Father. While the devil’s temptations were difficult for Christ who is human as well as divine, He held fast to Almighty God’s plan for the salvation of His people. When we are tempted to give material desires, personal pride or individual preferences priority over God’s will, we must pause. We must understand that God always knows and seeks our best interests. We need to trust Him to draw us into His arms for all eternity.

March 12, 2017

Second Sunday of Lent

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Today’s Gospel reveals the Transfiguration of Jesus so that His closest Apostles see Him as far more than their beloved teacher. Now He shines with the light of divinity. Yet Peter, James and John are too overwhelmed to respond with simple humility, gratitude and reverence. They feel they must do something. But the voice of God stops them: “‘This is My Beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.’ When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Rise, and do not be afraid’” (Matthew 17:5-7).

Like Peter and the others, we must open our hearts to see truly that Jesus is the Son of God and to hear His message of redemption. Christ wants us to know Him – to understand the depth of His love that will lead Him to die and then rise again for the sake of His people. As we journey through Lent, we need to pause and listen to the words of Christ urging us to turn away from fear and entrust ourselves to His way of life. And let us ask our Lord to help us encourage others as they also try to follow Him each day.

March 17, 2017

St. Patrick, Bishop / Friday of the Second Week of Lent

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Today we honor St. Patrick, one of the great missionaries in the history of the Church. Born in Britain around 400 A.D., he was later captured by pirates and taken as a slave to Ireland where he was a shepherd. In the midst of his suffering, Patrick’s faith grew. After a few years, he escaped to France where he studied to become a priest and resolved to return to Ireland as a missionary. When he became a bishop, he set forth on his mission and spent the last 40 years of his life preaching about Jesus to the Irish. Patrick’s bold trust in God along with a life of simplicity and persistence led to his tremendous success in converting the people. St. Patrick has influenced generations through the work of Irish missionaries around the globe.

In the Gospel Jesus reminds listeners, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes” (Matthew 21:42). The slave Patrick became the holy messenger of Christ’s mercy for countless people. Let us do all we can to share our faith and encourage others to do the same.

March 19, 2017

Third Sunday of Lent

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In today’s Gospel we find Jesus showing His generous compassion to someone who was looked down on by others: a Samaritan woman. Not only did Jews scorn her people, but also her moral behavior made her something of an outsider. It was shocking for Jesus to ask a strange woman to give Him water. But Christ saw in her a person of dignity. So He spoke about the living water He offers to all those open to His message of salvation. “The woman said to Him, ‘I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ; when He comes, He will tell us everything.’ Jesus said to her, “I am He, the one speaking with you” (John 4:25-26).

Christ wanted her to understand His teaching and to welcome His mercy. After recognizing Him as the Savior she rushed to tell her neighbors about Jesus. They, too, came to hear Him and to believe. This entire encounter reveals our Lord’s love for every individual of every nation. We see how He welcomes sinners, outcasts and all those shunned by the world at large. We, too, must value the worth of each person for the love of Christ.

March 20, 2017

Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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Today we celebrate the feast of St. Joseph, the husband of Mary and adoptive father of Jesus. We clearly see the trust Almighty God placed in this good man. While Joseph and Mary were betrothed, he found that she was pregnant. Though surely was troubled at the news, Joseph wanted to help Mary as best he could while still observing Jewish law. The Father revealed His will to Joseph in a dream through the message of an angel: “‘She will bear a Son and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.’ When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home” (Matthew 1:21, 24).

Joseph, the humble carpenter born into the family of King David, spent his life loyally serving God. He willingly took on the tremendous task of protecting Mary and her Son – the Savior of the world. Today we can honor St. Joseph by living our faith with simplicity and dedication.

March 25, 2017

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

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On this feast of the Annunciation we celebrate the Incarnation of the Son of God as the Son of Mary. By the will of His Father and the power of the Holy Spirit, the second person of the Blessed Trinity became just as human as He is divine. For all eternity young Mary of Nazareth had been chosen by God to be the mother of our Lord and Savior. “The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus... and of His Kingdom there will be no end’” (Luke 1:30-31, 33). Mary, who was herself conceived without sin, was dedicated absolutely to the will of the Almighty.

By agreeing to be the mother of Jesus, Mary was actually doing what she had done – and would continue to do – every day: serving God with a steadfast heart. Mary’s faith and cooperation were essential to the divine plan for the salvation of all people. While her role as the mother of our Redeemer was unique, she is the model for all who believe in Christ. Just as Mary said, “Yes” to God, we also have the responsibility to do the same.

March 26, 2017

Fourth Sunday of Lent

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We mark the midpoint of Lent today, Laetare Sunday. This Latin word means rejoice and the day offers the opportunity to focus our approach on the glory of Easter. The Gospel for today directs us to the mercy that Christ shows to all those who open themselves to His truth. We meet a blind man who is healed by Jesus and see him draw closer to our Lord not just in gratitude but also in faith. And we observe how others react to the former blind man and to his Healer. The Pharisees criticize Jesus as a sinner for healing on the Sabbath. Neighbors and the cured man’s parents equivocate because they do not want to offend religious leaders and risk expulsion from the synagogue. But the healed man, questioned repeatedly, says: “If He is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see.... I told you already and you did not listen.… If this Man were not from God, He would not be able to do anything” (John 9:25, 27, 33).

This man is healed of physical and then spiritual blindness when he accepts Jesus as the Redeemer. We, too, need to stay open to God’s constant love.


MissionInScripture.org – nurturing a missionary heart, for meditating on the mission message of Sacred Scripture


March 1, 2017

Ash Wednesday

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On this Ash Wednesday we must resolve to face the Lenten days ahead with a desire to strengthen our relationship with Christ. The ashes that we receive are a reminder of the mortality of the body. More than that, these ashes encourage us to examine our life – and our immortal soul. Lent has long been a time to turn away from sin and to draw closer to our Redeemer. “Yet even now...return to Me with your whole heart.... For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and relenting in punishment” (Joel 2:12-13).

We can recommit ourselves to the way of Christ by thanking Him each day of Lent for the gift of faith. We can also live our faith more fully by sharing our blessings with others in compassion and generosity. Then our hearts will be ready to celebrate the glory of Easter morning.

Suggested missionary action: Let us give serious thought and prayer to what we want to offer our Savior as a special gift this Lent. Let us also ask Christ to help us appreciate our faith in Him and share it with others.

This Lent, choose your mission – change the world. Visit missio.org today.

March 5, 2017

First Sunday of Lent

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While the Lenten Season has a special emphasis on repentance, we frequently avoid thinking about the ways we turn away from our Lord. It is hard to contemplate the many times we have neglected to live according to God’s will. Accepting personal responsibility to serve our Lord can be difficult. We do not want to believe we are guilty of doing what is wrong – or failing to do what is right – in God’s eyes. Yet we must face the truth about our relationship with Him.

“Have mercy on me, God, in accord with Your merciful love; in Your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions.... Restore to me the gladness of Your salvation; uphold me with a willing spirit.... Lord, You will open my lips; and my mouth will proclaim Your praise” (Psalm 51:3, 14, 17). Let us trust our Lord to show us His boundless mercy and generosity. He will always be there.

Suggested missionary action: We ask Jesus to guide us in living our faith in joy and revealing His mercy to others. We can also remember the Church’s Missions during this Lenten Season through our prayer, fasting and charitable giving.

This Lent, choose your mission – change the world. Visit missio.org today.

March 12, 2017

Second Sunday of Lent

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Lent offers the opportunity for us to take stock of our daily life. This means not only what we say and do, but also what we think and feel. Let us ask ourselves what our belief in Christ really means. We can best live that faith by sharing His generous compassion with all those we meet.

In order to truly acknowledge Jesus as the Redeemer, we must welcome His gift of salvation with heartfelt thanksgiving. We also have to learn to rely on Him if we want to grow in patience and persistence. Then we can resolve to do whatever our Lord asks despite those day-to-day trials that confront us. “Bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God. He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to His own design” (2 Timothy 1:8-9). Now is the time to consider what it means to be a follower of Christ.

Suggested missionary action: Let us pray for all who suffer for their belief in Christ. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to grant them the strength and courage to remain loyal to our loving Redeemer.

This Lent, choose your mission – change the world. Visit missio.org today.

March 17, 2017

St. Patrick, Bishop / Friday of the Second Week of Lent

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On this day we celebrate St. Patrick who dedicated his life to bringing Christianity to the people of Ireland. As a youth in Britain, he was taken prisoner and brought to Ireland as a slave. He eventually escaped and went to France where he studied for the priesthood. When he became a bishop, Patrick knew it was time to return to Ireland to share the faith. He spent four decades traveling the island offering Christ’s gift of salvation. He converted thousands and firmly established the Church among his beloved people. St. Patrick died in northern Ireland in the late 5th century.

A Psalm shows how God uses all His faithful people to do good. “The Lord...sent... Joseph, sold as a slave. ... The king sent and released him. ... He made him lord of his house and ruler of all his possessions” (Psalm 105:17, 20-21). Let us also offer ourselves to God’s service each day.

Suggested missionary action: We can honor St. Patrick by offering a World Mission Rosary today. We can ask Him to intercede on behalf of all missionaries and the people to whom they devote their lives.

This Lent, choose your mission – change the world. Visit missio.org today.

March 19, 2017

Third Sunday of Lent

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Today we meet a woman to whom Jesus entrusted His teachings and who immediately responded by acting as His messenger. Their meeting broke the cultural rules of the time, since a man and woman – strangers to each other – held a conversation. Also, despite a shared heritage with Samaritans, Jews would shun her and her people because of their unwelcome religious practices. But our Lord wanted this woman and all her neighbors to recognize that He came to embrace and redeem them.

She went to tell the townspeople all that Jesus has said to her and they went to listen to Him. “Many more began to believe in Him because of His word, and they said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world’” (John 4:41-42). Now we can share our faith in Jesus with others.

Suggested missionary action: Let us thank God for the blessing of faith and make a daily effort to be loyal to Christ’s word. Let us also support the work of the Church’s Missions in revealing our Lord to people everywhere.

This Lent, choose your mission – change the world. Visit missio.org today.

March 20, 2017

Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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On this day honoring St. Joseph, we contemplate his quiet acceptance of God’s will as his own. Joseph the carpenter of Nazareth had anticipated a traditional married life with Mary, his chosen spouse. Then his plans turned upside down. “She was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly” (Matthew 1:18-19).

Of course, Joseph did marry Mary at the behest of the angel sent by the Father to reveal His plan – not only for Jesus, Mary and Joseph, but also for the world. The Son of the Blessed Virgin was the Son of God, the Messiah. With generosity and gentleness, Joseph became the head of the Holy Family. He offered himself completely to the service of Almighty God by raising the Child Jesus and caring for Him and His mother for the rest of his life.

Suggested missionary action: Let us emulate the fidelity and courage of St. Joseph by dedicating ourselves to Christ. Let us ask Jesus, Mary and Joseph to protect our homes and our hearts – and our mission family half a world away.

This Lent, choose your mission – change the world. Visit missio.org today.

March 25, 2017

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

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Today we commemorate the moment the Son of God became the son of Mary. The angel of God appeared to this holy and humble young woman of Nazareth, revealing her key role in the Father’s plan to redeem the world from sin and death. Mary accepted the message that she was to be the mother of Jesus Christ. “The angel said... ‘For nothing will be impossible for God.’ Mary said, ‘Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:35, 37-38). Mary’s response showed her all-embracing desire to put her body, mind and spirit at the service of the Lord.

Although she could not foresee what was to come, Mary had peace in knowing God would care for her and her Holy Child. Faith led her to be the person God wanted her to be. The same is true for everyone open to the divine will.

Suggested missionary action: We must commit ourselves to saying “Yes” to God, just as Mary did. We, too, can welcome His grace and seek His will as we go about everyday life.

This Lent, choose your mission – change the world. Visit missio.org today.

March 26, 2017

Fourth Sunday of Lent

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Today’s readings remind us how much Almighty God loves us as individuals. He also desires that we be open to His grace and blessings. We meet the shepherd boy, David, chosen by the Father to become king of Israel. We meet the man born blind healed by Jesus and in both body and soul. We too must recognize that our Lord plans for our welfare and the welfare of others. “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8-10).

If we are true disciples of Jesus, we must reveal His light to all we meet by sharing the brightness of His joy and kindness. Let us complete the Lenten Season with dedication to emulating the great generosity of our Lord.

Suggested missionary action: Let us rejoice this Laetare Sunday by looking toward Easter. Let us remember that Christ will triumph. And let us share our gladness with others though faith in His gift of salvation.

This Lent, choose your mission – change the world. Visit missio.org today.

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