Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We hear in this weekend’s gospel about the mission of the disciples. They are sent to bring the compassion of God to the lives of the people and communities they visit. Great things will happen through their missionary activity. Jesus informs them that their presence may not be welcomed, and to be not discouraged. Shake the dust off your sandals and continue on the missionary journey.

Throughout the Church’s history, followers of Jesus have gone to distant lands to bring the good news of the compassion of God. Some missionaries have been received with great joy, while others with great persecution and even death. The Catholic Church in the United States is the fruit of men and women that were sent to bring the teachings of Christ to this land. Most religious men and women arrived with the passion of Christ and love for their neighbor.

While their dedication and determination were not always well received, it set the foundation for what would become our healthcare system, education, and social services, all in addition to the formation of our parishes. Still today missionaries from around the world come to help us experience the compassion of God. In the Diocese of Cleveland, we are grateful, especially to the religious, who have answered the call to teach our children, visit the sick in healthcare facilities, provide services to those in need, and minister in our parishes. Let us recognize them with deep appreciation. May they never shake the dust from their sandals.

With the strengthening of the sacrament of Confirmation, we too are sent to bring the compassion of God into our world experience. We are missionaries in our homes, schools, workplaces, and community. Through our everyday activities let us be open and willing to be missionaries of Jesus. Let us stay where we are welcome, shake the dust off our sandals when we are not, and allow Jesus to bring healing and faith to those we are sent to support.

We heard last week that Pope Francis underwent surgery to correct some health issues. Let us send prayers of healing for him and for his continued missionary activity as our Holy Father.


Fr. Workman