From Bishop Marinez Bassotto’s sermon at Huron Synod, May 26, 2019
The mission of God in the world, to be a church out of itself, focused on the lives of the people who are around us is the potent call that God makes us through Christ, and is not an easy call, involves delivery, involves compromise, it involves dreams.
Sometimes we believe that this is only the responsibility of others, not ours – we address the missionary call to those who are better prepared, for those who have better training, or for those who have more time availability than we do… But actually, we all have the task of being his disciples and disciples, we who from the baptism said our yes – not just the ordained people, not just the leadership, but all of us Christians and Christian.
I remember a small parable of today, this parable tells the story of a small town in Europe that was bombed during the Second World War. There was in this small town a church and in the church there was a statue of Christ welcoming, this was a statue that showed Jesus with extended arms, ready to embrace the people who approached him.
After the bombing the church was completely destroyed and the villagers resolved that they would initiate their reconstruction by the statue, they rebuilt the statue piece by piece, but could not reconstruct the hands of the statue because they had been very damaged.
Then after some meetings they resolved that they would leave the statue without hands and placed at the foot of the statue the following phrase: “Christ now has only our hands!”
The missionary challenges in the Amazon and here are possibly different, but equally great! The harvest is great and the workers are few … but there, just like here – Christ only has our hands, our arms, our feet, our lives!
The faithful giving of our life to God impels us to work in his name, to seek his kingdom, to truly engage in his Church to act in our communities. And then, in his name we will also be involved in the growth of the Church, committed to the word of God.
May the Lord Jesus strengthen us so that we may be faithful to Him – so that we do not let ourselves be carried away by the values of the world; so that we may be able to see in the actions of brothers and sisters the very hands of Christ; that we may not be seduced by the appearance of the world-and that we may cast aside our fears, our mistrust, and allow the values of Christ to guide our lives.
Dear brothers and sisters, may the Holy Spirit of God strengthen, bless and keep us, may Christ in the end say to us: Come, blessed of my Father, you have practiced solidarity, generous welcome and support for one another.
May we be able to become involved in the work of the Church of Christ and to support those who dedicate their lives to the growth of the Gospel; and that at the end Christ may say to us, “Rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Amen.