Last weekend I shared the second of four articles (the second article—NEW METHODS FOR A NEW TIME and the first article—CALLED TO BE MISSIONARIES) reflecting on our IGNITE THE MISSION PRAYER that we have been saying each weekend in our family of parishes.  Sometimes we can say the words of prayers but not spend time reflecting on how this will change our lives and hearts.  This special prayer is definitely calling us to adapt our perspective being transformed by God’s grace to be missionaries in our time.

The third stanza of the prayer asks that we make a commitment to truly be Christ in this world acting in love, compassion, mercy, reconciliation, justice and healing.  We are asking our Heavenly Father to transform us into Jesus—which requires the conversion of our hearts and a surrendering of our own plans for the sake of the Good News.  This is not just a hope that we have but a commitment for renewal, change and conversion which will include sacrifices.

We are committed to becoming your hands, your feet,
and your eyes in this world.
Awaken in us the desire to live like Christ, so that, through our actions and words, we radiate His love and divine mercy.


The heart of any parish community or family of parishes is not simply filling the pews with attendees or making enough money to pay the bills—it is to form disciples with the love and grace of Christ sending them into the world as modern apostles that radiate the Gospel in every aspect of life.  This can only be done when the parish community fills the hearts of people with Jesus in a special and powerful way that cannot be received anywhere else.  It is only then that the pews are filled and resources become available to help the mission of bringing Christ to our modern culture.

The mission of the Gospel and our parish communities has never changed.  We have always been called to form disciples who reach out to all but the methods and ways we do this need to adapt and adjust according to the circumstances of our time.  This is the reason for our family of parishes “Ignite the Mission” discernment.


Our faith is not limited to Sunday worship but to be the hands of Christ in our world offering hospitality, peace and reconciliation to everyone around us.  We are called to reach out and build bridges and engage people in our world today with joy, enthusiasm, hope and faith.

We are also called to be hands that feed the poor, comfort those who are sick and dying and of course those who are alone and afraid.  Our hands need to continue reaching out building friendships and healing relationships wherever possible.  This happens through our outreach ministries but also in our families, workplaces and schools.


In order to be the hands of Christ in our world today, we need to see the world like Jesus.  We need to recognize and seek out those on the margins, those who feel alone or afraid, the sick, homeless and those who are not at Mass on the weekends.  We need to see the injustices and challenges in the world first, discover how to act most effectively, and then act with great love.

Sometimes we can be blind to what is right before us and try to ignore certain problems hoping that others will act for us.  This is why we need to pray and celebrate the sacraments—so that Jesus may offer us clarity for the mission given to us in baptism. At the same time we can also be blind to the graces, blessings and presence of Christ in our world today.  There is always hope with Jesus and we need to celebrate the joys and respond to the challenges with the eyes of Jesus.  We need to radiate His light.


Seeing the world with the eyes of the Lord lets us see clearly joys and sorrows.  Offering our hands in building relationships and service takes our faith beyond ourselves to those around us.  In order for us to do this most effectively, we need to remember that we are on pilgrimage to the kingdom.  We need to walk the pathway of truth, justice, compassion and love with others—not alone.  The gift of our faith community is that we are a family that is called to work together sharing who we are and what we have for the sake of those around us.  We march with the Good News inviting everyone to join us as we walk towards the kingdom.

We do this by reaching out and not waiting for people to come to us.  We need to step into the world and culture today with the love of Christ that radiates from our prayer and actions.