The dictionary describes the word ‘Mission’ as sending or Being sent on some service; a calling in life. The important word is SENT. A missionary is one who is sent with a purpose. We know that missionaries go to places where the name of Jesus is not even heard. They go to distant and often challenging places to proclaim Jesus. The choice of the place is not made by the missionary. Rather, he or she is sent by the Power of the Trinity without any fore-knowledge of what he or she will encounter. Their sole confidence is that God will be with them and never abandon them.
The life of the missionaries in a completely new culture is filled with uncertainty – about the response they will receive to the projects undertaken; the adjustments to be made to a new way of life; the challenges to be encountered etc. etc. Nevertheless they carry out their work with the Power of the Holy Spirit. Some missionaries receive positive response and even support from the local authorities. Whereas some missionaries and their followers are harassed, victimized, falsely implicated, a persecution we are aware of particularly when they create awareness among the under-privileged and the uneducated, about who they are and their rights in the world. What truly sustains their endeavours is the Love of God.
For me, the First one to be sent is JESUS. He was “sent” (did not come of his own accord) by God, to become Man, to walk this earth healing and delivering. He brought to us the knowledge of God as our FATHER, as ABBA. He suffered brutality of the worst kind, was nailed to the cross, hanging for 3 hours yet forgiving us. But He rose again on the third day. His Mission was to deliver us from us from the Power of Satan and open to us the gates of Heaven. His apostles were witnesses of His Mission and empowered by the Holy Spirit took forward this amazing work Jesus had begun.
Closely following Jesus, another “missionary” if I may say, is our beloved Mother Mary who continues her mission till today, calling the faithful to prayer, repentance and submission to Jesus.
A missionary is one who comes to know Jesus in a deeply personal way. There is born in him or her a deeper desire to share this knowledge of Jesus especially to those who are Spiritually needy and hungry. Missionary work therefore is about Jesus, proclaimed by persons who are fired by the Love, the life and the Teachings of Jesus. They are prepared to work in the midst of poverty, squalor, sickness and unpleasant circumstances in order to spread the Good News, to bring Christ to those who do not know Him and those who are ignoring Him. They need our prayers for protection from the wiles of the enemy and for the Strength and consolation of the Holy Spirit to press on & not give up for Christ’s sake.
We too can be Missionaries and be a part of the “calling” to proclaim Jesus. We can begin:-
- To know Jesus by reading the Gospels daily, if possible as a family, to understand His tenderness, love and compassion.
- To pray that more and more people, in fact the whole world may come to know Jesus personally and follow Him.
- By sharing Jesus at least in our homes and reminding our children often as a “crucified Jesus” – that every pain He bore was because of our sins individually. We sinned, He suffered, but we became beneficiaries to enter His kingdom.
- When children make demands, encourage little sacrifices for the missionaries or for the salvation of those who continue to sin. Thus, make them partners with Jesus in His Great mission to bring ALL men back to the Father, so that not a single soul may be lost.
- Let us remind ourselves and our children of the REALITY of life here after – Excruciating Pain in hell or happiness in Heaven, FOREVER AND EVER with Jesus.
- May you and your family KNOW JESUS more Clearly, Love Him more Dearly, Follow Him more Closely, Serve Him more Faithfully, day by day. Amen.