Lusaka (Agenzia Fides) - "As part of our baptism, we are called to the mission of proclaiming and living the Word of God", said Fr. Bernard Makadani Zulu, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Zambia, who granted the following interview to Fides on the occasion of World Mission Sunday, October 23.
What is the meaning of World Mission Day for the Church in Zambia?
Our Church is growing. The collection of World Mission Day offers our brothers and sisters of the mission diocese the basic support they need to become self-sufficient. We need to promote a sense of communion also among our poorest dioceses, so that the Church can continue to assist the Catholic community in difficult situations and those who have greater needs. So it is essential to work together, because together we are a family and we can support each other in the task of evangelization. We must continue to bring to the Catholic world that spirit of universality and service to the mission of the Church, without which there can be no genuine cooperation.
As Christians, we belong to the family of the Church, we belong to Christ. To live faithfully in God's love we must develop a clear idea of the family in which we want to live. This requires a personal response from each of us. As missionaries, we must dedicate ourselves to the call of Jesus not only with words but with deeds. There is no place on earth where the Church's missionary nature is not present, because each parish, home and workplace is a land of mission. As members of the universal Church, we should share our wealth with others. We need to support educational programs, catechesis, pastoral formation which enable our missionaries to proclaim the Word of God
World Mission Sunday is also a good opportunity to pay tribute to the men and women who dedicated their lives to spreading the Good News. We recall our foreign missionaries, especially those of our parish, our diocese and Country. Their courage is an example to us and their presence is a sign of hope.
Mission Day is above all an occasion to pray, what intentions do you propose?
We propose first of all to pray for our Pope, Benedict XVI and all Bishops, so that they may help us in carrying out with more depth the missionary commitment to spreading the Good News. Then we want to remember the missionaries who announce the Gospel around the world, so that we may be inspired by their example and live a life of joyful witness. We also pray for our young people so that the Gospel message of God's love drives them to live a life full of faith in words and deeds. We also remember all those who suffer because of their testimony of faith, and may the Holy Spirit sustain them in their trial. We pray for the elderly and retired missionaries, may the Lord be the strength in the fragility and joy of their old age. Finally, remember in prayer all those who have died, marked with the sign of faith, especially those who served the Church in missions. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 19/10/2011)