Besides being the month of the Most Holy Rosary, October is chock-full of feast days—Holy Guardian Angels (October 2), St. Therese of Lisieux (October 3), St. Francis of Assisi (October 4), St. Teresa of Avila (October 15), and St. Isidore the Farmer (October 25), to name a few.
But October is also the Extraordinary Mission Month, as declared by Pope Francis himself, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Maximum Illud, an apostolic letter written by Pope Benedict XV that encouraged the faithful to spread the good news to the world (Missio Ad Gentes).
“Even now, as in the past, ‘the Church, sent by Christ to reveal and to communicate the love of God to all men and nations, is aware that there still remains an enormous missionary task for her to accomplish,’” wrote the Holy Father in a letter to Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. “In this regard, Saint John Paul II noted that ‘the mission of Christ the Redeemer, which is entrusted to the Church, is still very far from completion,’ and indeed, ‘an overall view of the human race shows that this mission is still only beginning and that we must commit ourselves wholeheartedly to its service.’”
For his part, Lolo Kiko has chosen “Missionary Spring” as his prayer intention for the month of October—specifically “that the breath of the Holy Spirit engender a new missionary ‘spring’ in the church,” as stated in the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
What does this mean to us? How can we support Pope Francis’ call for a “missionary spring?”
Keep spreading the good news.
Got a good story to tell? Maybe you lost your wallet and a stranger found it and gave it back intact. Perhaps your medical test yielded a worrisome finding, which, after prayers and a second opinion, turned out to be nothing. Stories like these, where a Higher Being clearly had a hand in their results, restore our faith and hope in people and the world. Share them with others whenever you can. They’re certainly better than spreading gossip!
Live the teachings.
Besides spreading the good news, why not be the good news yourself? Volunteer in outreach programs that interest you (from environmental cleanups to feeding the poor and hungry) or simply help out a friend, neighbor, or stranger in need. No effort is too small or insignificant, especially when it comes from the heart.
Tell the world.
Part of Extraordinary Mission Month is #MyMission, a global movement that encourages people from all over the world to post their personal mission on social media. Download the #MyMission board from www.missio.org.mt/emm, write your mission on the board, take a photo, and upload it on Facebook using #MyMission.
“To help the sick and the poor in Peru” is #MyMission of Maltese missionary Hector Piccard. “To comfort the vulnerable,” say two Fidei Domun priests. “To be quiet, listen, and live love,” wrote [email protected] The missions are endless and inspiring!