LED by the SPIRIT for MISSION
Message of Pope Francis
Commitment to mission is not something added on to the Christian life as a kind of decoration, but is instead an essential element of faith itself. What does it mean to be a missionary of the Gospel? Who gives us the strength and courage to preach? What is the evangelical basis and inspiration of mission?
We can respond to these questions by meditating on three scenes from the Gospels: the inauguration of Jesus’ mission in the synagogue at Nazareth (cf. Lk 4:16-30); the journey that, after his resurrection, he makes in the company of the disciples of Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:13-35) and, finally, the parable of the sower and the seed (cf. Mt 4:26-27).
Jesus is anointed by the Spirit and sent. To be a missionary disciple means to share actively in the mission of Christ. Jesus himself described that mission in the synagogue of Nazareth in these words: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour” (Lk 4:18-19). This is also our mission: to be anointed by the Spirit, and to go out to our brothers and sisters in order to proclaim the word and to be for them a means of salvation.
Jesus is at our side every step of the way. The questions lurking in human hearts and the real challenges of life can make us feel bewildered, inadequate and hopeless. The Christian mission might appear to be mere utopian illusion or at least something beyond our reach. Yet if we contemplate the risen Jesus walking alongside the disciples of Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:13-15), we can be filled with new confidence. In that Gospel scene, we have a true “liturgy of the street”, preceding that of the word and the breaking of the bread. We see that, at every step of the way, Jesus is at our side! The two disciples, overwhelmed by the scandal of the cross, return home on the path of defeat. Their hearts are broken, their hopes dashed and their dreams shattered. The joy of the Gospel has yielded to sadness. What does Jesus do? He does not judge them, but walks with them. Instead of raising a wall, he opens a breach. Gradually he transforms their discouragement. He makes their hearts burn within them, and he opens their eyes by proclaiming the word and breaking the bread. In the same way, a Christian does not bear the burden of mission alone, but realizes, even amid weariness and misunderstanding, that “Jesus walks with him, speaks to him, breathes with him, works with him. He senses Jesus alive with him in the midst of the missionary enterprise” (Evangelii Gaudium, 266).
Jesus makes the seed grow. Finally, it is important to let the Gospel teach us the way of proclamation. At times, even with the best intentions, we can indulge in a certain hunger for power, proselytism or intolerant fanaticism. Yet the Gospel tells us to reject the idolatry of power and success, undue concern for structures, and a kind of anxiety that has more to do with the spirit of conquest than that of service. The seed of the Kingdom, however tiny, unseen and at times insignificant, silently continues to grow, thanks to God’s tireless activity. “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep or rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how” (Mk 4:26-27). This is our first reason for confidence: God surpasses all our expectations and constantly surprises us by his generosity. He makes our efforts bear fruit beyond all human calculation.
Mary Most Holy, the Mother of our Saviour, had the courage to embrace this ideal, placing her youth and her enthusiasm in God’s hands. Through her intercession, may we be granted that same openness of heart, that same readiness to respond, “Here I am”, to the Lord’s call, and that same joy in setting out (cf. Lk 1:39), like her, to proclaim him to the whole world.
As we began the chapter with a special H. Mass asking for God’s guidance, so we closed with a beautiful intercultural thanksgiving H. Mass on Tuesday 12th September.
Today the 13th General Chapter gathered in Shillington presents the new elected leadership team of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood:
Along with the new Superior General - Sr. Monica Mary Ncube cps (middle) - who was elected on Saturday, the following sisters were elected to the new General leadership team of the congregation: (from left to right): Sr. Caroline Mjomba (East Africa), Sr. Ursel Beyerle (Motherhouse, Netherlands), Sr. Walburga Ballhausen (Generalate) and Sr. Marguerite Marie Uy (Generalate).
Sr. Monica Mary Ncube CPS (Superior General)
Sr. Caroline Mjomba CPS (1. assistant and vicaress)
Sr. Walburga Ballhausen CPS (2. assistant and sec.gen.)
Sr. Marguerite Marie Uy CPS (3. assistant)
Sr. Ursel Beyerle CPS (4. assistant)
We sincerely thank these sisters for their devotion to our congregation. May God reward their willingness and accompany and support them in this important ministry on our behalf.
Dear Sisters all over the world,
With great joy and thankful hearts today we announce the outcome of the election of our new general superior:
Sr. Monica Mary Ncube CPS
Sr. Monica Mary was born in Plumtree, Zimbabwe, in 1949. Since 2014 she has been the pro-vincial superior of the North American Province (NAP). From 1978-1982 she trained as a nurse in America and worked in different mission stations in Zimbabwe, e.g. Regina Mundi, Empandeni, Brunapeg and St. Joseph. In 2005 she was transferred to Canada, and has at-tained the Canadian citizenship.
We are grateful to God and to Sr. Monica Mary for her ‘yes’ to this great task as the 8th Supe-rior General of the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood.
“Prayer was our only support and refuge within all these difficulties. Time and again I found new cour-age and new strength in prayer”. (Mother Paula Memoirs p.169)
In response to Sr. Monica Mary’s request for prayer support the General Chapter suggests that every community in our congregation takes a time of prayer or Adoration over the next month to pray for her and her new team to be elected in the coming days.
Sr. Anna Mirijam Kaschner cps, Sr. Madeleine Bouman cps, Sr. Helen Wathika cps