Pastor’s Corner for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time by Fr. Nobert Munekani SJ
Missionary Month: October 2023
Hearts on fire, feet on the move (cf. Lk 24:13–35)
“The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” (Mt 21:43).
It is the second Sunday of Missionary Month, under the theme: “Hearts on fire, feet on the move.” (cf. Lk 24:13–35). In his message for World Mission Day, Pope Francis reassures us: “I desire to express my closeness in Christ to all the men and women missionaries in the world, especially to those enduring any kind of hardship. Dear friends, the Risen Lord is always with you. He sees. Your generosity and the sacrifices you are making for the mission of evangelization in distant lands. Not every day of our lives is serene and unclouded but let us never forget the words of the Lord.
Jesus to his friends before his Passion: ‘In the world you will have tribulations but be.
courageous: I have conquered the world!’ (Jn 16:33).” (2. “Our eyes were open,” message of His Holiness Pope Francis for World Mission Day 2023).
This Sunday, in the parable of the vineyard, God reveals himself: He loves every human being. He has every detail of human life to heart. The Kingdom is incumbent upon another community or people who will bear its fruits. Pope Francis explains to us: “In order to bear fruit, we must remain united to Jesus” (cf. Jn 15:4–9). This union is achieved through daily prayer, particularly in Eucharistic adoration, as we remain in silence in the presence of the Lord, who remains with us in the Blessed Sacrament. By lovingly cultivating this communion with Christ, the missionary disciple can become a mystic in action. May our hearts always yearn for the company of Jesus, echoing the ardent plea of the two disciples of Emmaus, especially in the evening hours: “Stay with us, Lord!” (cf. Lk 24:29).
In his catechesis on the passion for evangelization, Pope Francis explains that to sum up the action of the Church in one word, precisely the term “pastoral” is often used. And to evaluate our pastoral work we need to confront ourselves with the model, confront ourselves with Jesus, Jesus the Good Shepherd (cf. Jn 10). Above all, we can ask ourselves: do we imitate him, drinking from the wells of prayer so that our heart might be in harmony with his. Intimacy with him is “the soul of every apostolate.” Jesus himself clearly said it to his disciples: “Apart from me you can do nothing.” (cf. Jn 15:5). If we stay with Jesus, we discover that his pastoral heart always beats for the person who is confused, lost, far away. In prayer, let us ask for the grace of a pastoral heart, an open heart that draws near to everyone, to bear the Lord’s message as well as to feel Christ’s longing for each of them. (cf. Pope Francis, catechesis 2023, No 2. Jesus, model of evangelization).
For the sick
Let us continue to pray for the sick members of our parish especially Benedicta Ngwebelele, Phoebe Ngwenya and Andrew Ledwaba.
Rev. Fr. N. Munekani SJ