Each year we focus on the topic of “vocations” in our September/October issue of MARYKNOLL magazine. This year is no exception. I invite you to consider how each of us is called in baptism to be a missioner, sharing God’s love wherever we may be. Thus, we become co-creators with God in designing the world in which we live.
The Scriptures teach that God is love, on a mission of love in our world and that God needs us all to embrace this mission. The story of creation in the book of Genesis demonstrates very clearly our unique vocation as God’s children: To live as God’s image and likeness for others, responsibly caring for all of God’s gifts entrusted to us.
Acknowledging that his ministry was to share God’s love with others, Jesus describes his vocation in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “God has chosen me to bring good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18). In his teachings and actions, Jesus freed captives and the oppressed and restored physical and spiritual wholeness to the impaired. Throughout his public ministry, Jesus proclaimed in word and deed that God’s salvation is intended for all peoples.
Under the guidance of Pope Francis, we come to better understand what it means to have been created in the image of God and entrusted with caring for all of God’s creation. In his apostolic exhortation The Joy of the Gospel, our Holy Father writes: “Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus.” Experiencing God’s extravagant love for us impels us to go out daily to share that love with others.
And sharing God’s love includes redeeming our environment from the abuse we and others have inflicted on it. In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis calls us to conversion and awareness of our communal responsibility to care for the earth, our common home. “I urgently appeal for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet,” he says.
In this issue we feature a story from each of our Maryknoll expressions—Fathers and Brothers, Sisters, Lay Missioners and Affiliates—and how they are sharing God’s love today. I pray that you will hear your own call to mission as you read their stories.