Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature,Sunday 27 October 2019
Gospel: Luke 18:9-14
The second Reading of the day’s Liturgy presents to us Saint Paul’s exhortation to Timothy, his collaborator and chosen son, in which he thinks back on his existence as an Apostle wholly consecrated to the mission. Now seeing the end of his earthly journey, he describes it in reference to three seasons: the present, past and future. 
The present he interprets with the metaphor of sacrifice: “For I am already on the point of being sacrificed”. With regard to the past, Paul points to his life lived with the images of the “good fight” and the “race” of a man who has been coherent with his duties and his responsibilities; as a result, for the future he trusts in being recognized by God who is “the righteous judge”. 
Paul’s mission has been effective, just and faithful only thanks to the closeness and the strength of Jesus Christ, who has made of him a proclaimer of the Gospel to all peoples. This is his expression: “the Lord stood by me and gave me strength to proclaim the Gospel fully”.
In this autobiographical account by Saint Paul the Church is reflected, especially this missionary month. In Saint Paul the Christian community finds its model, in the conviction that the presence of Jesus Christ makes apostolic work and the work of evangelization effective. 
The experience of the Apostle of the people reminds us that we must be committed in pastoral and missionary activities, on the one hand, as if the result depends on our efforts, with the spirit of sacrifice of an athlete, who never stops even in the face of challenges; on the other, however, knowing that the true success of our mission is a gift of Grace: it is the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ who makes the Church’s mission in the world effective.
Today is a time of mission and a time of courage! Courage to strengthen faltering steps, to recapture the enthusiasm of devoting oneself to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, of recovering confidence in the strength that the mission brings to bear. It is a time of courage, even if having courage does not mean having a guarantee of success. 
Courage is required of us in order to fight, not necessarily to win; in order to proclaim, not necessarily to convert. Courage is required of us in order to open ourselves to everyone, never diminishing the absoluteness and uniqueness of Jesus Christ, the one saviour of all. Courage is required of us in order to withstand incredulity, without becoming arrogant. Required of us too is the courage of the tax collector in today’s Gospel, who humbly did not dare even to raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast saying: “God, be merciful to me a sinner!”. Today courage is needed! 
May the Virgin Mary, mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, model of the Church “that goes forth” and of docility to the Holy Spirit, help us all to be, in the strength of our Baptism, missionary disciples in order to bring the message of salvation to the entire human family.