In his message for World Mission Day 2019, Pope Francis illustrates how the dimension of the missionary apostolate touches every baptized person: "This divine life is not a product for sale – we do not practise proselytism – but a treasure to be given, communicated and proclaimed: that is the meaning of mission. We received this gift freely and we share it freely (cf. Mt 10:8), without excluding anyone."
Today in the world there are many missionaries who, in the style of Don Bosco, have decided to spend their whole life to spread of the Gospel.
"In our small way," said Fr Felice Molino, a missionary in Kenya, "I think of our commitment among street children, among people who live in desert areas, or in poor parishes, or in the refugee camp in the north of the country, in medical dispensaries that are the lifeline for the sick reduced to misery, and then the schools ... Jesus comes to the last in this way. 'Good news' to the poor! ... And almost all without words, but with many facts ... Mission is not just going; it is above all doing, and doing with love and for love."
"Missionary life is a willingness to leave everything behind and start again to live alongside people who are poorer, more exposed or ignored. Missionary life is nourished by prayer and a response to the love of God that is in the poorest. It is like giving back double of the great love received from God (the talents) to the Giver of this love, to Him who lives in the poorest," said Salesian brother Roberto Panetto from Cambodia.
Fr Italo Spagnolo, engaged in Nigeria, concludes with a reflection starting from his personal experience: "When I go to the meeting of the priests of the diocese I am the only 'white man', perhaps the last white missionary! But I don't feel like a stranger; in fact, I'm even much made of, respected. And I understood why last year our bishop emeritus wanted to solemnize the 50th anniversary of my priestly ordination in the cathedral. He wanted to express the gratitude of the Church of Ijebu-Ode to all the missionaries who have brought the faith, tradition, values and the spiritual and material riches of the Catholic Church to this land!"
For more information, visit the website: www.missionidonbosco.org