In 1967 the originators of the multimedia franchise “Mission: Impossible” really had no idea what was possible. No one thought this TV venture would give birth to a series of high-profile movies and even video games generating over $4 billion.
The storyline remained the same. A small team of secret government agents known as the IMF or Impossible Missions Force, ran covert missions against hostile Iron Curtain governments, third-world dictators, evil organizations, and, later, crime lords.
Let’s go back 2000 years to another Mission Impossible.
A Palestinian Jew gathered 12 ordinary people and sent them out on his impossible mission… continue to tell the story of his mission from God.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).
This was his mission from his Father. He dedicated his life to this mission of proclaiming … and living… this Good News. He sent them on the same mission.
One hundred years after his death there were some 25,000 Christians. Two hundred years and many persecutions later they numbered some 20,000,000. Today, well over 2 billion – 1/3 the population of the world.
He obviously created a culture of mission… without hiring a PR firm!
Jesus’ culture of vocations
He said just three words! “Come and see” He invited those who had ears to hear to enter into that mission of bringing good news to every living being. They walked with him and eventually learned to take seriously his command to wash one another’s feet.
They did not always get it right. Just look at their struggles with polarization in the Acts of the Apostles. Yet their joy was contagious. Their lives were contagious.
Today, that is what I understand as a culture of vocations and mission… a sense of being called and sent on a mission. (So much more than just preoccupation with my salvation.)
Sts. Vincent, Louise and so many others who have followed Christ the Evangelizer of the Poor have found their ultimate meaning in life in this mission of Jesus.
Today, I wonder how many really understand the culture of vocation and mission.
Pope Francis invites us to journey with him
Every man and woman is a mission; that is the reason for our life on this earth.
Each one of us is called to reflect on this fact: “I am a mission on this Earth; that is the reason why I am here in this world” (Evangelii Gaudium, 273).
This transmission of the faith, the heart of the Church’s mission, comes about by the infectiousness of love, where joy and enthusiasm become the expression of a newfound meaning and fulfillment in life.
How many young people find in missionary volunteer work a way of serving the “least” of our brothers and sisters (cf. Mt 25:40), promoting human dignity and witnessing to the joy of love and of being Christians!
These praiseworthy forms of temporary missionary service are a fruitful beginning and, through vocational discernment, they can help you to decide to make a complete gift of yourselves as missionaries.
“Never think that you have nothing to offer, or that nobody needs you. Many people need you. Think about it! Each of you, think in your heart: many people need me“
Questions for Vocation Awareness Week November 7-13, 2021
- What is the bigger mission and meaning of my life?
- Is my joy contaious?
- How often do I invite others into this mission?
Click below for an audio version of this Vincentian Mindwalk