Mission Sunday On the Journey
I’m thinking of a very wise parishioner who in any given situation takes the most menial, unwanted role- and it’s not because of any poor self-image or lack of ability on her part-neither would be true. She has learned that in any group or organisation- this is how best to get on with people. Asking nothing of a person that she won’t do herself. Everyone trusts her, because she is a servant-leader who walks the walk.
She is the opposite of today’s Gospel duo- the sons of Zebedee- James and John who are self-seeking and self-serving and don’t even have the courage to make the request themselves of Jesus- leaving that to their mother. Jesus (like that parishioner) didn’t ask of James and John anything that he would not do himself.
Mission Sunday is probably the best and most under-rated antidote to the increasingly “me me” generation of today. There’s a lot of international talk about making certain countries “great” again- usually (it seems) at the expense of others. For the Christian- the route to greatness lies in following the Great One. It lies in becoming a burden-taker rather than a burden-maker. We live in times when being a believer hurts- and maybe that is for the best. We should never use Jesus for positions of authority or title. It’s about “we” not “me.”
They tell of a particular group of birds that were quite happy in their forest home- until a trapper came and would imitate their call, and snare them in a net when they responded. What to do- so they had a meeting. A wise member of the group said, let’s stick together in one corner of the net and flap our wings and take off. And so they did- successfully escaping capture- or as the trapper put it.. “when they all got together- there was no stopping them.” Couldn’t the same be true of us this Mission Sunday. We all know that the power of one person if focused is formidable, but the power of many working together is far, far better. Coming together is just the beginning, keeping together-despite everything is progress, but to work together for each other is in the truest sense of the word a “success.” Mission Sunday is surely a time to celebrate that from the little we all can do- something beautiful is wrought in our world