Support missions and their efforts to spread the gospel in word and action
Mass presided by Msgr. Simas; Sermon : Deacon Dick Bayless

Today, the 23rd of October is World Mission Sunday. today, the church asks for our support of local and foreign missions and their efforts to spread the gospel in word and in action. I looked around to find a person we could relate to in the scriptures for today with this designation of World Mission Sunday. and I chose Saint Teresa of Calcutta, so-called Mother Teresa. and we are all knowledgeable about the great work she did with the homeless and the dying in the streets of Calcutta. but when we look at our total life, we see that it was just one activity that she gave back to the Lord. If you look at her total life, she was born in Macedonia. She became a nun at the age of 18 and joined the foreign missions. She had been sent to India to teach girls in high school, and had done this for 17 years. Around the Year 1987, she had incredible organization skills that she demonstrated with all the assignments in her life. and yet, she prayed in a very focused way, that she understood what was God's will for her in her life. and here's one prayer that she documented. She wanted to hear the wisdom of God. so she says "perfect prayer does not consist in many words but in the fervor of the desire that raises the heart to Jesus. Whatever we say in prayer, let it be with attention and great devotion, so that our words may be written in letters of gold. how necessary it is for us to pray the work, to make the work of our love for God in action. all our vocal prayers should be burning words coming forth from the furnace filled with our love".

This week's scriptures from the gospel of Saint Luke is actually the third week in this series that talks about prayer. We want our prayer to be more effective to help us achieve this transformation suggested by Jesus in the scriptures. Although different, the Publican and the Pharisee hopefully are both intent on pleasing God with our prayers.

There are many dimensions of Prayer in the Catholic faith. but first, the Catholic Church teaches us that humility is the foundation of Prayer. in other words, humility is necessary for our prayers to be effective. Saint Gregory of Nissa comments on Matthew's gospel in The Sermon on the Mount, that we're familiar with, where it says "blessed are the poor in spirit", the Beatitudes as Jesus preached on the mountain that day reveal an order of happiness and Grace, Beauty and peace. Jesus celebrates the joy of the poor to whom the kingdom of God already belongs. We also need to understand the term Justified as used in the last paragraph of today's Gospel. According to our catechism, Justified is a term which denotes the transforming of a sinner from the state of unrighteousness to a state of Holiness, or further sonship of God.

In the first reading and the psalm, God hears the Cry of the poor and of the oppressed, especially those who acknowledge their dependence on him. acknowledge their dependence on him. Sirach states his position in the first line of this reading. He assures us that God is an impartial judge. the complaints of the poor and the lowly may fall on the poor and the lowly and Earthly circles. but all that matters in the Heavenly Court is one being humble and one who sincerely serves God.

Can you see the difference in humility between the Pharisee and the publican in today's reading? The prayer of the Pharisee demonstrates what saint Luke States in the first line of this gospel. namely that this person is convinced of his own Holiness and is better than others. one can say that the Pharisee was not praying to God but was talking to himself. No attitude of humility in prayer was evident. contrast this to the attitude of the publican who acknowledges his sinfulness and his need for God's mercy. He is aware of the improvements or changes needed in his life, difficult as they may be.

In summary, everything we have comes from God. It is gifts from God that allows us to tithe and fast. And it is the sin of Pride that allows us to judge others as inferior, greedy, dishonest, like adulterous. Both men need God's forgiveness and mercy plus God's grace to find the will of God in their life.


今天是世界傳道主日。教會要求教友們支助本地以及普世的傳道使命。幫助傳道人以言以行來傳播福音。環顧四周,我找到了一位遵從福音的教導向世間傳道的典範。那就是加爾各答的德肋莎修女。我們都知道德肋莎修女為印度加爾各答的遊民和垂死者所做的偉大成就。但當我們仔細審視她的生命,我們會發現這只是她回饋給主的許多工作之ㄧ。她出生在馬其頓,18 歲時做了修女,接受了向普世傳道的使命。她被派遣到印度教高中女生有 17 年之久。從她的工作中,她展示了超群的組織能力。修女的祈禱非常專注,她了解到天主對她生命的旨意。下面是一個懇求聽到天主智慧言語的祈禱。她說:“完美的祈禱不在於多言,而在於熱切的渴望。這渴望使我們的心轉向耶穌。無論我們祈禱什麼,都要專心一致地表達出來。這樣子我們的祈禱就可以字字成金。祈禱是這麼的重要,它能使我們將天主的愛付諸行動。我們所有的禱吿都該是從愛的熔爐中發出來的熾熱言語。”





總而言之,我們所擁有的一切都來自天主。 是天主的恩寵讓我們十一奉獻和禁食。 但是驕傲使我們犯罪,讓我們判斷別人是貪婪的、不誠實的、通姦的。 不論是法利賽人或稅吏都需要天主的寬恕和憐憫,因著天主的恩寵,才能在生命中找到天主的旨意。