After 13 weeks of formation filled with classes, early mornings at service sites, and plenty of community time, the 30th mission class of Franciscan Mission Service walked into the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at the Franciscan Monastery filled with our family and friends for our Commissioning Mass to celebrate our being sent out on mission.
During our time in formation, we spent countless classes discussing what it means to be sent. We talked about the Scriptural context of being sent in our Scripture and Mission classes. We discussed the sending nature of the Mass in our Liturgy and Mission class. On our closing retreat, we reflected on what being sent and going on mission meant for each of us personally.
As we stood in front of the altar at the Commission Mass, I professed my desire for mission and what it meant for me to be sent. I read this mission statement aloud:
The beliefs and desires of my heart that motivate me to oversees mission are that I feel deeply connected and a part of the one human family of our world, the love I have for others that I hope to share, and the joy and grace I receive from God.
The kind of person I want to be is compassionate, caring, loving, kind, hopeful, and inspired. I am called by God to “do justice, love kindly, and walk humbly,” to be a peacemaker, someone who loves, a good and active listener, full of joy and laughter, and a friend to walk the journey with.
Saying these words in front of my family, friends, teachers, and supporters is what being sent means to me. To be sent is to walk the journey with those I encounter. To be sent is to accompany. To be sent is to love and be loved.
In his homily, Fr. Paul Dressler spoke on how part of being sent is to be able to answer the question, “when did you choose to love?” During formation, this is one question I have been pondering.
What does it mean to be sent? Being sent means loving. Who am I sent to love? I am sent to love the people of Guatemala, the children at Valley of the Angels, and those who are poor and marginalized. Now that formation is over and I have been sent during the Commissioning Mass, it is time to live out my desires for mission and embrace what it means to be sent.