Puyo (Agenzia Fides) - "Today we want to congratulate and honor those Ecuadorian missionaries who, leaving their land and driven by the Spirit, left their home like Mary for her visit to her cousin Elizabeth, and brought the good news with joy, they left their homeland or their region, like Blessed Mercedes de Jesús Molina, to reach mission lands such as the Ecuadorian Amazon, others flew to other continents to fulfill Jesus' dream". These words were expressed by the Apostolic Vicar of Puyo, Monsignor Rafael Cob, celebrating the annual "Day of the Ecuadorian missionary Ad gentes", established by the Episcopal Conference on the day of the feast of Blessed Mercedes de Jesús Molina (1828-1883), on June 12, the first Ecuadorian missionary Ad gentes (see Fides, 12/6/2020). The Bishop stressed that the Ecuadorian missionaries Ad gentes "are an encouragement and example for many young people" who feel in their hearts the call "come and follow me", and invited us to pray so that "missionary vocations ad gentes increase in our communities and parishes". "May the Spirit of Pentecost continue to blow strongly in the Church - he continued - and let us allow ourselves to be moved by him, to be a Church that goes forth, which listens and feels sent, to announce what it has seen and heard, so that all have the life and life in fullness". Monsignor Cob cited the theme of the message of the Holy Father for World Mission Day 2021, "we cannot fail to talk about what we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20) and he wondered if we too can do the same as the Apostles.
"Lately we see a very harsh and violent reality in several countries of the world - he explained - in India and Brazil the virus has hit the poor, causing pain and death, governments have not been able to give a positive response to stop the pandemic. Our sister Colombia suffered unprecedented violence due to the protests in the streets. In the Holy Land, hatred and violence between Jews and Israelis have broken out again. A dark landscape in a society that prides itself on being progressive and democratic, but peace and harmony, respect and justice seem to be far away".
Recalling the missionary mandate left to us by Jesus before ascending to heaven, the Apostolic Vicar exhorted everyone to be missionary disciples: "It is the light of the Gospel that we carry, which will be able to illuminate the dark night of our peoples, it is the voice of the Gospel that must be listened to so that she continues to alleviate with her peace and close the wounds with reconciliation and forgiveness". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 18/6/2021)