Daily Reflection — Into the Mission Fields

"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Gerard van Honthorst

“Adoration of the Shepherds” (detail) by Gerard van Honthorst


“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19).


Jesus, reading these words from Isaiah 61 in the synagogue, draws attention to His identity and mission. An important aspect of Christian discipleship is to be discovered in this ancient prophecy.

If we are to follow Jesus, if we are to walk as He walks, then we must abide in His mission.

As long as there are captives, oppressed and afflicted among us, either spiritually or physically, there is mission work to be done. We are to proclaim the good news that Jesus is Lord and live out His life in solidarity to those He came to release. This will take us beyond our comfort zone into the mission fields, be they across oceans, across town or across the room.

Are you ready to live the works of mercy with determination and passion?

The Works of Mercy

The Spiritual Works of Mercy The Corporal Works of Mercy
1. To instruct the ignorant 1. To feed the hungry
2. To counsel the doubtful 2. To give drink to the thirsty
3. To admonish the sinner 3. To clothe the naked
4. To bear wrongs patiently 4. To shelter the homeless
5. To forgive offenses willingly 5. To visit the sick
6. To comfort the afflicted 6. To rescue the captive
7. To pray for the living and the dead 7. To bury the dead

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About the Author

Deacon Mike Bickerstaff Editor-In-Chief, ICL

Deacon Michael Bickerstaff is the Editor in chief and co-founder of the The Integrated Catholic Life.™ A Catholic Deacon of the Roman Rite for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Deacon Bickerstaff is assigned to St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church where he is the Director of Adult Education and Evangelization.

He is also the Founder and President of Virtue@Work, where he provides Executive and Personal Coaching, Mentoring and Organizational Consulting. Deacon Mike has 30+ years management consulting experience in senior executive leadership positions providing organizational planning and implementation services with a focus on human resource strategy and tax qualified retirement plan design, administration and compliance.

He is a co-founder of the successful annual Atlanta Catholic Business Conference; the Chaplain of the Atlanta Chapter of the Woodstock Theological Center’s Business Conference; and Chaplain of the St. Peter Chanel Faith at Work Business Association and co-founder and Chaplain of the Marriages Are Covenants Ministry, both of which serve as models for similar parish-based ministries.

He and his wife have two married children and three grandchildren.

NB: The views I express on this site are my own. I am not an official spokesman for either my parish or diocese.

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