We are what we are today because the Lord
has blessed us. And therefore, it would not be right if we just take care of our own selves.
This question of narrow-mindedness of just thinking of ourselves will not do justice
to the work of mission. We cannot be missionaries unless we have a deep encounter with Him.
People are converted to Jesus not through beautiful doctrines alone. People are converted
to Jesus because they encountered Him. Not just encountered Him in prayer but encounter
Him in a very tangible way when they experienced love, when they experienced mercy, when they
receive healing graces, when they are loved. We need to recover the missionary spirit of
the Church. So gratitude is an important dimension of mission. Those people who never encounter
God’s mercy, even helping in the church can become giving out of their abundance of their
strength, not of their weakness. And it’s good to ask yourself, are you serving because
you have a lot of resources, because you are very talented, because you can afford things.
If you are giving out of your abundance, you’ll become proud, you’ll become arrogant. You’ll
think that everybody should say “thank you” to you because you are such a good man, so
generous. But if you are serving out of your weakness like a widow’s mite, or a child’s
mite, if you are are just giving what you have received because you are grateful, then
you will never make demands. Duty doesn’t mean to say an obligation, reluctant obligation.
Duty comes from an inner compulsion because he encountered God’s love. He encountered
God’s mercy. Mission cannot take place unless, first and foremost, there is discipleship.
We cannot be missionaries unless we are a trained soldier. Discipleship can only take
place in a community. Do you have a community to support you in your faith? If you have
a community, no matter what happens, trials can come, you will survive. If you are a loner,
if you don’t have a community of faith to support you, you will lose that faith. If
you want the Church to move forward today, we need to start trying to build communities,
but we need to supply the leaders for the community. Leaders need training. And if leaders
are trained, once they go into the community, they start mentoring the communities, the
communities will grow. If our people are once again anointed with the Holy Spirit and we
build faith-filled communities, then vocations will come. Then you will have more priests.
Then you will have more religious.