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Saturday, July 6, 2013

MISSION

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14TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – C

Luke 10:1-12.17-20



         Last Sunday Jesus laid down the cost of discipleship to those who wanted to follow Him.  This Sunday we hear the missionary mandate of Jesus to the 72 disciples whom He sent by two’s.

         The radicalism of the discipleship was not just a requirement prior to following Jesus but more so in the actual living of it.  We see this in the definite instructions on how to do the mission relying solely on divine providence and charity of others.   In other words, their preoccupation was the proclamation of the message and not on provisions along the journey.  It may sound crazy to us in the modern world when we first think of our own security symbolized by the things put in on our luggage whenever we travel.   The early disciples were also empowered by Jesus with divine authority over nature and their enemies.   Being poor, they relied not on their own strength or material possessions but on the power deep within themselves to carry out what we may call a “mission impossible.” There was almost no room for personal agenda.  That is why at the end of their missionary journey, they were successful but Jesus reminded them that true happiness was not about success but the assurance that they were part of God’s family, the Church.

         The missionary mandate of Jesus did not end with the early disciples.  By the virtue of our baptism, Vatican II in a document called Lumen Gentium (LG) reminds us that we are intimately linked with Jesus’ life and mission. Being members of the Church which is the Family of God, we are not just empowered by the sacraments we receive but we carry on responsibilities just like we have in our own families.   Because of this, we are missionary in nature.   The genre surrounding the mission in the present age may have changed from that of the time of Jesus but the core of the message remains the same, that is, to continue the mission of Jesus.   To do missions is not just about leaving homes and families to go to unfamiliar places like the early missionaries did but to live and share the faith in our own creative ways. Some are indeed called to a more radical witnessing of the faith by embracing the evangelical vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in the work of evangelization.  But for most of us are called to sanctify the present order through the witnessing of our faith in the ordinariness of our lives.  “By the very nature of our vocation, we seek the Kingdom  by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God” (LG #31).  St. Therese of Lisieux never left the convent but became the patroness of the Mission.   On the other hand, St. Francis Xavier, another patron of the Mission, lived and died in a missionary land.
         Four years ago I left my country, family and friends to open a new SOLT mission in Australia.  We were so blessed being given a parish to administer and I was made a parish priest.  Aside from my pastoral ministry, I started to preach online through this blog and the Australian Catholic Radio Online.  To date, the blog has reached 117 countries with an average of 500 readers weekly.   From my room, I realize that I am able to do mission to peoples I have never met  by preaching the Word of God in different countries, some of which I have never been.           
         Being a member of God’s Family, what do you have to offer?  Have you found your mission in life? How do you carry it out?

        

          

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