Homily by Sr Eithna Synnott – Mission and Healing



The following is the Homily given by Sr Eithna Synnott on Wednesday 9th October at the Celebratory Mass for the Extraordinary Month of Mission held at Ardfoyle Convent. The theme of the Mass was "Our Mission as Healing"


“I’m not stuck!!

I’m looking and marvelling at all the missionaries here, who everywhere they go, live the love of God.

Those who have had the blessing of leaving their father’s house and going to a foreign land to spread God’s love…. please…. raise one hand. (Hands raised from the congregation)

Thank you.

I’ve been very blessed to have been in a healing ministry all my life, in another land as well as here in Ireland, and it still continues today. The Divine Physician is never far away.

Now, all the missionaries in this lovely chapel, raise a hand please. (Hands raised from the congregation)

I see that there are a number of hands that were not raised. If you were in doubt that you are a missionary before today, please know that EVERYONE is a missionary by virtue of their baptism.

Everyone here is a unique individual, created by God in his image and likeness. We each reflect the Creator in our own unique way, and if we all did that, everyone in the world, we still would have  only the tiniest awareness of what God is like.

We do know, beyond doubt, that God is love.

We do know, beyond doubt, that His Son came among us, lived, taught, worked miracles, was  murdered, lay in the tomb… and if all that was not enough to prove God’s love for us, he rose again.

And, as if that was not enough, he said He was going back to the Father, our Father, and that He wouldn’t leave us alone.

Along came His Spirit, and God, in a crazy, daft, mad moment – by my reckoning – sent the Spirit to flow through us in His beautiful world.

We became spreaders of his love, in a huge way.

We became, each one of us, Missionaries o others, and Mission for others.

The craziest thing of all is – again, by my reckoning – that we had already been given free will. God took a risk with His Spirit, but then, He had already taken a risk with His Son, and look how that worked out. So now we have the God of Risk Taking!

And His Spirit flows through us.

Sometimes awareness is there, most of the time… not! But that doesn’t matter, because we are living the Word of God as best we can, we are open to the Spirit suing us.

So, imagine your heart… It pumps life through your body. As long as the heart and the body are the best they can be, the heart is very effective.

We have an “off” day… scrape a knee, bruise an arm, snap at someone, ignore someone else… all the “off” things we do… and most of them, not deliberate; we just have our own problems and don’t notice others.

But, our body notices. We get tense, the heart has to work harder to get blood around the body.

When we have tense days, the heart does not stop pumping life, but it can’t pump as much because the body is not relaxed.

This is us with the Spirit. God’s Spirit of love will always flow through us. We can’t stop it. It can’t be contained.

But… tight heart, mind body – we can reduce the flow of the Spirit through us and we don’t know who in the world needs that breathe of the Spirit that, because of the tension within, we do not allow to flow freely.

Now I will add guilt to the scene, sorry.

I believe that God doesn’t punish us… we do that to ourselves.

Again, guilt! Sorry.

And that is what I believe it takes to get us to let the Spirit of God flow freely through us to the world.

So, how do we go from the Spirit flowing to the world through us, to the Spirit flooding the world through us?

A simple “Sorry.”  But, who to?

The first person I have to be Missionary to… is myself; be healer to… is myself.

I need to apologise to myself for not letting me be the best I could be today.

When I do that, the body relaxes and the Spirit gushes through.

We are brilliant missionaries without doing this, but doing it, I believe we can be super missionaries.

The first time apologising to yourself, you may feel like an idiot. But, think about it… how many time have we beaten ourselves up with negative back chat, arguments in our minds, reliving tense scenes. Forgetting upsetting things is hard, forgiving is not. After saying sorry to ourselves, then what? We may have to say sorry to ourselves a hundred times a day… He did say 70 times 7!

Christ was in the tomb for several days… I know that the tomb for me is not knowing who is touched by the Spirit flowing or flooding the world through me.

I know that some are influenced, because they tell me, but is that all?

So, I’m going to ask you to get comfortable, relax and let your eyes rest, and let me hold your mind and heart.

You are here, in this wee chapel, begin to be aware of your Guardian Angels beside you, and they say, “Come.”

They guide you to another place, and as your feet touch land, you see a vast crowd of people. They are silent, but you sense a great excitement, and begin to hear voices. “Look, they’re here!”

One person stands out in the crowd and you know, without a doubt, that it is the Lord.

He moves, takes your hand and leads you into the crowd. He says your name and welcomes you to the Sacred place.

After getting over the wonder of the Lord’s presence, you sense the crowd and ask, “who are these people.”

The Lord looks at you and you hear, “When I was hungry you gave me to eat, when I was thirsty you gave me to drink.”

“Lord, I never saw you like that,” you say.

“You saw them hungry, thirsty and you helped them… you did it to me.”

“No, you’ve got it wrong… I never met any of these people.”

And, gently putting His hand on a girl’s shoulder, he says, “She was in despair, you didn’t see her as you passed, but through you, my Spirit touched her with hope and, for her life began again.”

“Every one of the limitless number of my children you can see – and more – I have touched through you, and have touched you through them.  For them you have been Missionary. For them you have been Mission.”

You look about in awe and wonder, feeling like you are going crazy… whatever the feeling you have, ridiculous, crazy, this is madness, wonder, awe and maybe tearful, whatever your reaction…let’s stay with it for a few seconds.


After a while the Lord looks at you with a look of love that you feel you are going to melt into and He says, “My Spirit needs to reach more, through your own unique way."

And you find yourself back in the Chapel.


So, dear Missionaries, be Missionary to yourself first and all else will follow."