Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for Oct. 22, 2023

Reflection for Oct. 22, 2023

Hearts on fire, feet on the move

Theme for World Mission  Sunday  calls us to evangelize  to the best of our abilities

by Sister Donna Koch

This Sunday, World Mission Day, has the following theme: “Hearts on fire, feet on the move.” The image of ‘feet setting out’ reminds us once more of the mission entrusted to the Church by the risen Lord to evangelize all individuals and peoples, even to the ends of the earth.

Pope Francis explains to us “that we are rooted in a twofold love, namely Christ’s love for us and our love for Christ. Today more than ever, our human family, wounded by so many situations of injustice and so many divisions and wars, needs the Good News of peace and salvation in Christ.”

It seems that in our readings today, God is on the move: reaching out and blessing, preparing the way even for those who do not know who God is, naming, grasping by the hand, holding onto, choosing for the work of faith and the labor of love, and asking us to respond in justice and rightness to those situations which need support.

All of us can contribute to this missionary movement in some way with our prayers, our activities, our material offerings, the offering of our sufferings, or our personal witness. Maybe for some of us our feet are no longer able to move as we would wish but our hearts can still be on fire for all those who rely on our support in prayer.

Something to reflect about:

  1. What is your experience of God calling you?
  2. How has God graced you in your need?
  3. How have you been called to grace others in need?
  4. What does “Hearts on Fire, Feet on the Move” mean for you?


10/20/2023 10:14 am

Thank you for your reflection. I like the way you summarized the readings: God is on the move. Yes, God is on the move, and we have to find ways we can respond.

10/20/2023 12:30 pm

What does “Hearts on Fire, Feet on the Move” mean for you?

Two passages from Sunday's first reading [1 Thes. 1:1-5] stand out to me:

1) "ENDURANCE IN HOPE of our Lord Jesus Christ,"

2) "our gospel did not come to you in word alone,

but also in POWER and in the HOLY SPIRIT and with MUCH CONVICTION."

Hope can feel like it's fading sometimes, and I start to lament, just as those waiting and longing for God's TRUE and JUST PEACE ON EARTH did millennia ago, in the Psalms. [Psalms 13, 79, 80, 90]

And then I start to wonder if God 'really' knows what it feels like to be human -- and hurting so overwhelmingly?

In those times, all I can do is offer my emotional and spiritual pain and suffering to God, calling upon and beseeching Holy Spirit to come upon us once again, in 'new' and 'moving' ways.

Ways that will "MOVE" hearts - and minds - to NEW Understanding.

The "NEW-NESS" of my own heart, mind, and understanding then comes from the giftedness of visionaries and prophets like Ken Burns who produces amazing, wonderful documentaries that tell the truth of our times.

Most recently is the two-part series of, THE AMERICAN BUFFALO, which tells of the the TERROR-izing reality the First Nations, Indigenous Peoples experienced from those who came to conquer and dominate and destroy them. (The American Buffalo: Blood Memory; The American Buffalo: Into the Storm, PBS)

From bearing witness to all the brutality of ignorance and arrogance (just as JESUS experienced from the cross), I then come to the realization of how the PERSEVERANCE and RESILIENCY of those who survived now gives birth to NEW HOPE and NEW LIFE to Sacred Earth and Our Shared Humanity once again.

This all takes much time, effort, understanding, patient and intentional wisdom, however. It does not happen like "magic" overnight. That is not the kind of 'miracle' needed. The 'miracle' we need includes the following:

The guidance and direction of Holy Spirit into a NEW and UPDATED, RELEVANT PROCESS OF HEALING, FORGIVENESS, and RECONCILIATION. Such a process is not about one side over the other. This "NEW" process is about ALL OF US HURTING TOGETHER, and ALL OF US WANTING TO HEAL TOGETHER, as ONE WHOLE PEOPLE.

Such a process involves real and true, genuine and authentic DEEP LISTENING in ways long overdue.

In such DEEP LISTENING, our hearts will, indeed, begin to "burn within us" as we walk-the-way TOGETHER.

"Were not our hearts burning within us ......" [Luke 24: 32]

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