God chooses us to His call (John 15:16).
Have you ever thought of being a missionary? Does your heart jump when you talk to people who are missionaries? Have you ever prayed into becoming a missionary? Every choice made in freedom liberates us. We live in a culture and time of fear, selfishness and social upheaval. We are often insecure and scared to make choices, afraid we will fail, scared of public opinion. “Do not be afraid” (Acts 18:9, is 41:10, Is 43:1,5) is all over Scripture. We are in this world, but not of this world. We are called to be different, to stand out.
The Lord is opening a mission base though Life Teen in the Netherlands this fall of 2010. Exciting prospects! It will be a desert mission, it will be tough, there will be challenges, but there will also be numerous blessings. “The active apostolate of the laity is not an optional thing, a luxury, but an obligation, an imperious necessity” (Fr. Jean D’Elbee). There is work to be done in His vineyard; exciting, thrilling and fulfilling work: a formation mission year to become fully alive in Christ. The Gospel tells us: “everyone who has left house, mother, father, brothers, sisters, wife, children, or lands for MY Name’s sake, shall receive a HUNDREDFOLD and shall possess life everlasting” (Mt. 19:29).
What are we willing to give up for Jesus? Our house? Our car? Our job? Our worldly security? Remember Jesus’ answer to the rich young man in Mt. 19:16-22: “sell what you have and give it to the poor and you’ll have great treasure in heaven, and FOLLOW Me”. We are called to detachment from worldly and material matters and a more radical attachment to Christ Jesus!
Living as a missionary for Christ WILL be difficult. There will be numerous trials, there will be conflict. The devil will be on your back because you are radically living for Jesus and it’ll be rubbing off on the people around you! It will stretch you beyond your expectations. At times you will want to quit, being in dire desolation, overwhelmed. But…God’s proposal is more relentless than our refusal! “The humble are not surprised by their distress; it leads them to trust more, to hold fast in constancy” (CCC 2733). Always remember: God humbles ONLY to exalt us!
God chooses YOU to reveal His glory! Living in community is a sacrifice in many ways, but through the crucible of humiliation we attain holiness. Being a missionary this year I am learning to be docile, to serve, to be taught, to respond in love. Love and be loved!
“Do you love Me?” Jesus asked St. Peter. Christ didn’t ask: ‘are you qualified?’ or ‘are you capable?’. He said: “If you love Me, then come and follow Me and obey My commandments!” God does not create unattainable desires! We cannot reach holiness on our own, but in Jesus we can! Are we confident in God? That He is who He says He is and will do what He says He’ll do? Pray: Lord, increase my faith! Allow me to see how big You are!
“You are precious, glorious and I love you” (Is. 43:4). God says about us: “you are my servants whom I have chosen” (Is. 43:10). “I will make you a light to the nations” (Is. 49:6b). “My reward is with the Lord, my recompense with my God” (Is. 49:4b). Pray for Marian receptivity!
The Bible points out that the desert is the traditional old Testament place of refuge for the afflicted where God protects the persecuted Church. The Netherlands is a spiritual desert, but God protects. He is providing this opportunity to live in community, to be missionary! “God will renew, restore and build up!” (Is. 61:4).
The missionary formation year will start mid-September with a month of formation at mission base camp Covecrest in Tiger, Georgia together with all Life Teen missionaries of all bases before being commissioned out to the Netherlands.
Brothers and sisters; be ruined for the ordinary! The time is now!