The word ‘mission’ crossed my life path a few times in recent days.

One of my nephews heard the priest announce at Mass that there was going to be a ‘parish mission’ soon and he wondered what the parish had to do with going on the missions abroad!

I got a pack of good resources in the post from the organisation in Ireland that promotes Mission Sunday. At a meeting with fellow priests in West Cork, the topic also emerged and we had a wide-ranging but abstract discussion about it.

Then I got an email from a friend who is not long back from working as a lay woman in Zambia with Irish religious sisters among the poorest families. She thanks me for a small donation I had made towards her work while she was in Africa. She added “times are very difficult here in Ireland just now, but I also know how difficult they are for people in the developing world. These people have lived with recession all their lives.”

Her comments have brought the idea of Mission Sunday crashing down to reality for me.