During this time of Epiphany, Missio would like to wish a Happy New Year full of joy, abundance and health to everyone. Epiphany is truly a new beginning, since it means manifestation of our Lord to the whole world. Historically it is when baby Jesus was made known to the shepherds of Bethlehem. He is revealed to the Magi who have come from the East to adore Him. Christian tradition has forever seen in the Magi the first fruits of the Gentiles; they lead in their wake all the peoples of the earth, and thus the Epiphany is an affirmation of universal salvation, a hope for a new beginning for all.
The Gospel tells of the faith of the ‘Magic’ divinely guided by the ‘star’; how this faith manifested itself in action by their seeking instruction from Gods priests, ‘the 3 Kings’, by being in reverence and giving themselves and offering their best treasures before the frail Baby Jesus in Mary’s arms. The gifts included symbol of their hearts offering love; Incense in homage to His Divinity, symbol of their minds offering adoration; Myrrh in homage to His Humanity, symbol of their bodies offering to do penance.
Epiphany has its meaning in Jesus birth and baptism as the light of the world. In the Epiphany, ‘What Jesus did was to take our human nature and do with it what humanity alone could not do – which is, to walk it out of death, and that’s exactly what He did with His baptism.” Epiphany is a truly great Feast! “Arise, be enlightened”.
Missio internationally together with those supporting the initiatives has been working towards showing all people of all cultures, and all people the arrival of Jesus and the Holy Spirit through the ‘Baptised and sent’ campaign. Internationally, Missio (Pontifical Mission Societies) in around 160 countries has organized hundreds of events, masses, missionary prayer meetings, exhibitions, missionary festivals and concerts in different dioceses during the end of 2019 together with an international social media campaign ‘#MyMission’.
Locally Missio Malta has taken part in the ‘#MyMission’ campaign where the audience was inspired to reflect, think and then act on how one can make a good deed to others in everyday life, which could be to a neighbour to a colleauge, family or friend. The message was reinforced by having the person writing it on a tablet, take a photo and post it on social media to tag and inspire others to do the same! The missionary message was that being a missionary does not necessarily include helping charity people in other continents, but having a missionary and good heart with people locally.
Missio representatives visited 25 primary and secondary schools where children were told about missionary experiences and what it means to have a missionary heart starting locally from home, friends and at school, then helping those less fortunate in poorer regions. The outreach with children also was implemented in parishes through catechism classes. The elderly were also reached through elderly homes and 35 day centres, where elderly people were inspired to have a collective missionary message they could have between them to help others in action, or when action is limited, through prayer. Individuals from different cultures, including Muslims in Turkish restaurants, Indian community in Malta, the business community, NGO’s such as birdlife, politicians, the education sector and tourism sector amongst others where all included and supported this message of ‘Baptised and sent’ campaign.
Missio Malta would like to thank ICE MALTA for the support on social media training to implement the social media campaign. MHRA chose Missio as a social partner in the ‘Mediterranean Stars Festival’ supported live by the Mediterranean Orchestra, led by the international conductor Maestro Bruno Santori. The Mediterranean Orchestra has helped to shape and strengthen the musical identity of the Mediterranean with a repertoire ranging from jazz to pop to classic and sacred music, the orchestra brought together 60 master musicians from different parts of the Mediterranean including amongst others Italian singers Umberto Tozzi, Gigi d’Alessio, Algerian singer Khaled and Mahmood at the Fosos, Floriana on the 4th October 2019 on Radio Italia Live. The aim of the Mediterranean Stars Festival is similar to the Missio ‘Baptised and Sent mission’, where it brings together people from different cultures to spread the message of peace and unity, which is delivered through tourism and music in the Mediterranean. Due to the common aim of unity and peace, MHRA has chosen Missio as a social partner and supported Missio with marketing exposure on big screens during the concert and a complimentary stand to continue the #MyMission campaign with the young audience.
As part of the #MyMission campaign locally, Missio has been involved in University of Malta Freshers Week, Mcast Freshers Weeks, 1 week stand in front of Parliament in Valletta with various organisations on board including the Blood Bank to reinforce the message that missionary is giving by doing and taking action to those in need, Science in the City and the public at large. The end of 2019 with the #MyMission Baptised and Sent campaign is the foundation and preparation of this New Year, where those baptised are ‘sent’ to tell, show and act in ways that show all people that a missionary heart is one that unites and helps all humanity. It is what we are celebrating today as the Epiphany, the showcasing of the light of the world to all gentiles.
Missio thanks the sponsors: MHRA, ICE MALTA, University of Malta, Mcast, Science in the City and other stakeholders supporting this campaign to reach as much as wider audience as possible!