Reflections: 13h May 2018

A Reflection for The Ascension

MK 16: 15-20 (

When I was in Kimmage Manor as a student priest, the Seminary Year’s closing ceremony, its liturgy focused on the Consecration to the Apostolate, was always something special.  Those ordained a year earlier were keen to hear of their missionary appointments.  A prayer of blessing was announced for them, and the great missionary hymn of the Holy Ghost (now Spiritan) Missionary Congregation was sung with great gusto.  Symbolically, this hymn was a way of commissioning our missionaries to mission to the poorest and most abandoned people around the world, and it is a beautiful summary of today's Gospel: 

Go ye afar. Go teach all nations;
Bear witness unto Me, on earth in every clime;
And I with you shall be, until the end of time.

Lovely appear, over the mountains,
The feet of them that preach, and bring good news of peace. (x2)

Spirit Divine, Fount of all graces!
Thy chosen ones inspire,
With love their hearts inflame;
And grant them tongues of fire,
To witness Jesus’s name.

Mary most pure, Queen of Apostles! 
In lands both near and far, 
Mid darkness, pain, and strife, 
Be thou their guiding star, 
Their hope, their joy, their life.

Envoys of Christ, glad tidings bearing, 
On ev'ry foreign shore 
The cross you raise on high 
Proclaiming night is o'er 
And day at last is nigh.

Blessed are they who leave all dearest; 
In life a hundredfold 
Shall they rewarded be, 
With joy, with bliss untold 
For all eternity.

The late Cardinal Hume once gave advised newly ordained missionary priests: 'Your Mission and Apostolate is to make the invisible visible'.  This is our baptismal vocation too. Today's Gospel, concludes: "as they went forth they preached everywhere while the Lord worked with them".  St. Francis of Assisi says: "Preach the Gospel always; if necessary, use words."

Pat O’Toole C.S.Sp. – FromCo. Mayo, Fr. Pat missioned for many years in Kenya. He is now part of the Spiritan team in Ballintubber / Ballymoe parish in the Diocese of Elphin.