Day 4, Reflection for the month of Mission
Sunday, 4 October 2020
The Feast of : St. Francis of Assisi, Confessor of the Faith
Reading : Isa. 5:1-7
Gospel : Matt. 21:33-43
“Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to the people that will produce its fruit.” (Matt. 21:43)
Document: We call on intellectuals, philosophers, religious, artists, media experts and all men and women in every part of the world to rediscover the values of peace, justice, kindness, beauty, brotherhood and neighbor living to affirm the importance of this value as the anchor of salvation for all, and to promote it to everywhere (art. 16).
“May God grant you with peace,” Francis of Assisi greeted Sultan Al-Malik Al-Kamil on his visit to Egypt during the summer in 1219. Sultan Al-malik Al-Kamil is a Muslim, the leader and ruler of Ayyubian Dynasty whose territory covered Palestine, Syria and Egypt at that time. While Francis of Assisi, as we know, is a saint from Assisi, Italy, the founder of Order of Friars Minor. 1217-1221 is the period of fifth Crusade between Christian and Muslim soldiers. The visit of Francis to Sultan Al-Malik Al-Kamil at the river of Nile, outside Damietta city, Egypt is classified as a reckless visit. Francis with his friend, Illuminatus, risked their lives by bravely entering the Muslim army headquarters. That is the period of raging crusade filled with hatred and hostility between the Christians and Muslims.
Francis brought only one mission in his visit to Sultan Al-Malik Al-Kamil, to endeavour peace and end the war. Francis’ greeting, “May God grant you with peace,” had made Sultan Al-Malik touched and fascinated. In the midst of the crusade filled with hatred, hostility and resentment, the visit of Francis and Illuminatus had melted the hard heart. They were welcomed with full hospitality and brotherhood. The meeting of these powerful people becomes an antidote, that responding violence with violence will just result in endless violence, but responding violence with kindness and respect will melt a frozen heart and change the hostility into brotherhood.
Abu Dhabi Declaration on human brotherhood urges us to rediscover the value of peace, justice, kindness, beauty, brotherhood and neighbor living to affirm the importance of this value as the salvation anchor for human being. This is in consistent with the advice of St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians, which is the second reading of today’s mass, “Brothers, let your mind be filled with everything that is true, everything that is honorable, everything that is upright and pure, whatever is good and praiseworthy.”
It has become the mandate of our mission today: to create peace in our heart and the fellow people. We begin from ourselves, then it flows to our smallest circle, family, then expands to the neighbor or working environment, and so on. Until it finally forms a peaceful wave that penetrate into whole soul.
This is the peaceful kingdom expected to be the vineyard of God the Almighty, as told in Isaiah Book and Matthew Gospel (first Reading and the Gospel of the 27th ordinary week). The Kingdom of Peace represents God’s Kingdom, a peaceful state that dwells in everybody’s heart. God’s Kingdom is the God who reigns in human’s life. St. Paul says, ‘Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Jesus Christ […] God, the source of peace will be with you.”
We are the followers of Jesus Christ and every follower must purify their inner life from any elements that keep the presence of Christ’s salvation away. Christ’s followers must continually open the heart for Christ’s presence and let the God work in our lives. What is the concrete form? Our mission today is to sincerely grow the value of peace, justice, kindness, beauty, brotherhood and neighbor life and to flourish in our daily life. This is the value that become the anchor salvation for all human being.
(RD. M. Nur Widipranoto – National Director of Pontifical Mission Society Indonesia)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
Participation from the laymen: With the virtue of Sacrament of Baptism, may all laymen, especially the female, be enabled to participate more in different areas of ecclesiastical responsibility. We pray…
For Indonesian Churches intention:
Kind speaking: May the Catholics prioritize in using kind language as an effort to create friendship and brotherhood in the midst of communication turmoil of the social media which tends to be scathing, threatening and destructive today. We pray…
We present our young people to continuously learn to defend justice for everyone. We pray…