"The sacrifice is great for a heart which tenderly loves his parents, family, religious brothers, and the land where he was born.¬† But the voice which invites us, which has called us to make the offering of everything we have, is the voice of God Himself.¬† It is our Divine Savior who says to us as His first apostles:¬† 'Go, teach all nations, instructing them to observe all my commandments...'"¬† St. Damien of Molokai
Mission - proclaiming God's love for the world - is the heart of our faith.¬† "It's not that God has a mission for his Church in the world," someone once said,¬†"but that God has a Church for his mission in the world".¬†¬†Every baptized member of the Body of Christ is a missionary, expected to be witnesses¬†of the love of¬†God to family and friends; yet some experience a deeper call and leave¬†family and friends¬†behind to share Christ with the world.¬† As St. Damien wrote, it is a great sacrifice -¬†but none is more beautiful.
Missionaries today still risk their lives to minister to and live among the poor and marginalized.¬† They leave the comfort of home to sweat in the tropical heat, work side-by-side with day laborers, preach in hostile environments, stand up for the victimized; and they often¬†die for their efforts.¬† Theirs is a deep commitment which mimics the life of Christ as He walked the earth with nowhere to lay His head and call home.¬†
Mission, even right in our own backyard, means stepping out of our comfort zone and giving of ourselves¬†for the sake of our Lord.¬† It is sharing our stories with others, and listening to theirs in return.¬†And while we¬†may not¬†all be able to go to foreign countries to preach the Gospel, we can support those who do with our prayers and our sacrifices.¬† Let us ask St. Damien for the grace to answer the Voice which calls each of us¬†to mission.
St. Damien of Molokai, pray for us!