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Tuesday, 30 November 2021 08:55

Mission is fostered in the family

Fr Asaeli Raass profile pic 150Dear Friends,

Bula from Fiji, where I am at home, visiting my family, especially my mother who is struggling health-wise. What a gift it is to have our travel borders beginning to open up again.

The pandemic lockdown period gave us missionaries and many others, a taste of what it must have been like for our first missionaries, including St Joseph Freinademetz, who left their home and family knowing they would most likely never return.

Travel was a bigger undertaking back then, in the late 1800s, so if you went to a far-off place on mission, that’s usually where you ended up seeing out your days. No such thing as home leave then.

Today, however, we have the luxury of being able to jump on a plane and be home with our families from time to time within a day’s travel.

During this time I’ve been prompted to think about how formative our families are and how important they are in the grand scheme of God’s great mission of love.

A good family life, steeped in faith and love, is the first place we come to know of God’s love for us. Family life is also where we learn to share love with others. And we know how damaging a poor family life can be for the healthy development of young people.

At this time when Pope Francis is calling for us to become a missionary Church, we cannot afford to overlook the important role of families in forming missionary disciples. It’s not easy for families today to make this their priority among all the other competing activities and interests out there.

Love is at the heart of mission. We are able to love others because God loved us first and, as he ended his earthly life, Jesus told his followers to go out to all the world and spread the Good News of this love.

Some of us will do this by living consecrated life as a missionary. Most will be missionaries in their own daily lives of working, parenting and being with friends and family. As St Mother Teresa famously said: “Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.”

May God bless you and your families.

Yours in the Word,
Fr Asaeli Rass SVD,

Provincial.