THE SAME MARVELS THAT WERE WROUGHT BY THE FIRST DISCIPLES OF JESUS CHRIST WILL BE RENEWED IN OUR DAYS BY YOU
Eugene reminds the Missionary Oblates, whom he is sending to Oregon, that they are continuing the mandate given by Jesus to the apostles.
I say nothing of how magnificent in the eyes of Faith is the ministry you are going to fulfil. One must go back to the birth of Christianity to find anything comparable. It is an apostle with whom you are associated and the same marvels that were wrought by the first disciples of Jesus Christ will be renewed in our days by you, my dear children, whom Providence has chosen amongst so many others to announce the Good News to so many slaves of the demon who huddle in the darkness of idolatry and who know not God.
This is truly the real apostolate which is renewed in our times. Let us thank the Lord for having been deemed worthy to be participants therein in so active a manner.
Letter to Fr. Pascal Ricard, 8 January 1847. EO I n 74
“Missionaries of Christ are not sent to communicate themselves, to exhibit their persuasive qualities and abilities or their managerial skills. Instead, theirs is the supreme honour of presenting Christ in words and deeds, proclaiming to everyone the Good News of his salvation, as the first apostles did, with joy and boldness.” (Pope Francis)
May I present Christ through the witness of my actions and words today.
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“Let us thank the Lord for having been deemed worthy to be participants therein in so active a manner.” Eugene’s words to Fr. Pascal Ricard, who he signaled out as being his “alter ego”. And I find him speaking also to us, his sons and daughters: the challenges now may look slightly different, but the heart of his message can still be found in todays world, and in today’s message of the Church.
We might be tempted to boast of the many tools that we have to use as we share our experience(s) of God; as we are sent out to evangelize the poor and in so doing find ourselves being evangelized. But there are times when we are reminded that it is the Beloved who leads us on the journey, who shares the spirit and who does the converting, we are but instruments. As Mother Teresa said yesterday: “Our vocation is the love of Jesus.”
I think of how we are called to “BE” and from that we are inspired and led to “DO”. It is deeply intimate and personal while in the same heartbeat communal and familial.
I echo today’s prayer that I might “present Christ through the witness of my actions and words”, through my being into my doing…