Mission: Having Religion is for Fraternity and Praying, not for Acting

Day 11, Reflection for the month of Mission
Sunday, 11 October 2020
The Feast of : B. Elias a Succursu Nieves, St. John XXIII

Reading : Phil. 4:12-14, 19-20
Gospel : Matt. 22:1-14

“God will take care of all your needs with the wonderful blessings that come from Christ Jesus! May God our Father be praised forever and ever. Amen.” (Phil. 4:19-20)

Religion has been existing since long time ago before Indonesia became a country. Our ancestors have taught us how to respect each other. Since long time ago we have been respecting each other in diversity, both in family and social community. Religion has been the means for someone to know the Creator, by getting closer to Him through prayer and rituals in each religion. Basically religion is in the form of communion, building fraternity, getting to know each other, caring, helping, developing talent and carrying out charity activity as the fruit of prayer.

Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians gives testimony of how to live in God. Paul always rejoices as he finds strength from God. He says: “I have the strength for everything through Him who empowers me” (Phil. 4:13). Knowing Christ unites himself in love and prayer. Prayer becomes an authentic manifestation before God, being aware of ourselves with all our weaknesses. In prayer, we are can not play-act, because God knows all. God knows what we think and do.

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells the parable of a king who held a wedding party for his son. For the party, he sent out many invitations. An invaluable invitation offered at free of charge to selected invitees. But, the invitees did not come, for various reasons. Jesus often describes God’s Kingdom as a wedding banquet. The kingdom of God is offered to everybody, but often we take it for granted and ignore it for many reasons. We often reject God’s invitations, refuse to dwell in Him. Baptism is the main means to getting into the communion with God. Baptism makes us the children of God and dwells in the communion of His love.

The religion we believe in is a way for us to know God’s love better, to build fraternity with others. Through prayers that we pray together or individually, we are enabled to be honest, not hypocritical, not acting. Pope Francis wrote in the document of Human Fraternity: “We call on all parties to stop using religion to incite people into hatred, violence, extremism and blind fanaticism, and to refrain from using God’s name to justify acts of murder, exile, terrorism, and oppression” (art. 24).

Pray is not a play-acting. Play-acting with fellow human being might be commonly done, but acting with God means full of pretense, trying to deceive or trick Him. When we deceive God, we have deceived ourselves. Before God, we have no way to act, even though in reality many people still do this. However, we, as believers, are called to be honest before Him, and through religion we build fraternity and true prayer. Right prayer will empower people to be realistic in the midst of diversity, have a pilgrimage together in the world, be tolerant and respect the strengths and want to understand the weaknesses of others.

Our mission today: being more religious means having stronger fraternity, not creating hatred and violence.

(Sr. Yohana Halimah – National Bureau 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 …

Special Intention:
We present our young people to continuously learn to defend justice for everyone. We pray …

Amen

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