Filipino Catholic Christians love and admire missionaries. We are proud of the foreign missionaries who came to our shores and helped evangelize our people. We are even prouder of our own Filipino missionaries bravely working abroad. We can think of them crossing expansive rivers, hiking up mountains, living with tribal people in the jungles, eating exotic cuisine and dancing through the liturgy. And it is true that we must continue to love and support our missionaries because the world needs them today more than ever.
The Gospel speaks of that moment when after the disciples learned at the feet of the Master, they were then sent out “two by two” to preach and liberate people from sickness and evil. The disciples of Jesus were the real missionaries sent by Jesus into the waiting world. Later on, our missionary priests and nuns followed in their footsteps in bringing the presence of Christ to others. Some trained lay people are now doing foreign mission work alongside our priests and nuns. Missionaries are ALL OF US here... today. Christians are the modern disciples of the Lord, and Jesus does not cease to send us – one by one, two by two, three by three, family by family and community by community – to accomplish our mission from Him.
Many people will not go to foreign missions but will engage in “domestic mission.” It would be a mistake to think that mission can only happen for a person who goes abroad. Mission is where Jesus wants us to spread the fragrance of his love. You won’t believe it, but you are a missionary in your own country, in your village, in your office or school and most of all, at home. If we are sensitive Christians, then we will realize that Jesus invites us to take up some important mission where we are right now.
Jesus did not encourage his disciples to be complicated missionaries, but simple ones – no food, no sack, no money, and no second tunic especially in the olden times. In this modern times, we are to be practical, that means we are not to be preoccupied with the big concerns. Rather, we are to be sensitive to the needs of the people we serve at the moment. I’m sure if we strive to be like that, we will discover that our mission is not complicated. We are missionaries to people we already know, in situations we already experience.
#51 MISSIONARY BY DESIGN: An anecdote. You out there, you who live abroad, think about it. Has it ever occurred to you that you are where you are now because God wanted you to be there? Maybe you left the country for financial or family reasons, but have you ever considered that you are where you are now because of God’s plan? Nothing happens by accident for those who love God. You are where you are now because God has a mission for you to do there. Lord, help me to realize that I am a missionary wherever I go, whatever I do. Amen.
This 15th Week in the Ordinary Time we have a lot of optional memorials namely; on the 16th, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, on the 18th, St. Camillus de Lellis,, on the 20th, St. Apollinaris, and on the 21st, St. Lawrence of Brandisi, and of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin.
Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,