For Odisha bishop, the Church is like a family in which everyone is a missionary
by Santosh Digal
Mgr John Barwa reflects on the upcoming World Mission Sunday (19 October), stressing the urgency of the mission ad gentes to make Christ known to all nations, as well as the importance of knowing and understanding the suffering that affects our brothers and sisters in faith.

Bhubaneswar (AsiaNews) - For Mgr John Barwa, bishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Indian Catholics should prepare for World Mission Day, which this year falls on 19 October, by sharing in Pope Francis' vision of "a Church in which everyone feels part of the family, offering what we can and praying for our brothers and sisters in need."

This is more than a call to "renew our commitment to the missionary movement". It is a call "to thank God that we belong to a universal community of believers."

"Even today, the prelate told AsiaNews, "many people in the world do not know Jesus Christ. The situation in Odisha is no different."

"For this reason, the mission ad gentes continues to be very urgent. All members of the Church are called to participate in this mission because the Church is missionary by its very nature. It was born to go out" into the world.

"Unfortunately, in our world we often see God's children suffer from poverty, war or lack of trust between nations, religions and peoples," the prelate lamented.

"It is hard to admit that in 2014 we live in a country where about 16,000 children die every day from malnutrition, and nearly a billion people go to bed hungry every night."

"During Mission Week," he added, "we must be aware of such suffering, which affects the body of Christ," and "unite with all the members of God's people around the Eucharist".