The Eternal Life, the Faith, the Mission and the conversion

The Eternal Life, the Faith, the Mission and the conversion[1]

 

Missionary Heroism!

Missionary Heroism!

By Fr Federico,

Missionary in the Far East

 

 

I

 

1/ THANKSGIVING

 

First of all, I would like to thank the Bishop, the Parish Priest and you for receiving the Missionaries.

 

2/ PRESENTATION

 

I am a missionary. But, why did I become a Missionary? Because Jesus said: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature¨.

Because of this, I left my very beautiful girlfriend, my profession (I am a lawyer), my friends, my country, my home, my family…  Why did I do this? To save the souls.

 

II

 

Why is the Mission important? Because, as Saint Peter said, and we read today, Jesus has “the words of eternal life” (Jn 6,68). Only Jesus has “the words of eternal life” (Jn 6,68), so it is extremely important to announce the Gospel to the Nations; to the Non-Christian Nations. Only Jesus is the Holy One of God, not Buda, not Mahomed. Because of this, Saint Peter said to our Blessed Lord: “You are the Holy One of God” (Jn 6,69).

 

Because of this, that is, because only Jesus is “the Holy One of God” (Jn 6,69) , and because only Jesus has “the words of eternal life” (Jn 6,68). Because of this, He gave the Catholics this heroic commandment: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mc 16,15-16).

Moreover, because only Jesus is “the Holy One of God” (Jn 6,69), all men should believe in Jesus. This is the reason why the Church sends missionaries all over the world, even to the most remote islands, as Taiwan or Papua.

 

The History of the Missions of the Church is an epic history. In fact, the Apostles evangelized lots of Nations: Saint Peter and Saint Paul evangelized Rome, Saint Jacob evangelized Spain, Saint Thomas Apostle evangelized India and even proclaimed the Gospel in America, Saint Gregory the Illuminator brought the Faith to Armenia, Victorinus was the apostle of Styria, Frumentius evangelized Ethiopia, Saint Patrick brought forth the Irish in Christ, Saint Augustine of Cantorbery introduced the Faith among the English, Saint Columba and Palladius preached the gospel to the Scots, Saint Clement Willibrord, brought the radiance of the gospel to Holland, Saint Boniface and Anagar carried the Faith to the Germans, Saint Cyril and Methodius won Slavonia for the Church[2] … And now we are trying to convert he Far East!

The work continues! Many people still do not know anything about Jesus. So, the Mission continues!

 

III

 

The missionary challenge is a great challenge; moreover: is the highest challenge. When will this challenge finish? When the entire world becomes Catholic; when all the Nations enter in the Catholic Church. When that happens we will finish our work. Only then, our work will be finished. Only then, the Missionaries will rest. But, until then, we should work very hard to achieve this aim, the highest aim.

 

We are missionaries. This is our vocation, divine vocation. But, even you, fathers and mothers of families, even you, young people, even you, little kids, even you -if you want- could take part in this challenge, in this divine challenge.

So, do you want to take part in the missionary challenge? Furthermore, do you want to play an outstanding role in this enormous and divine task?

Saint Peter and Saint Paul evangelized Rome, Saint Patrick evangelized Ireland, Saint Agustine of Cantorbery evangelized England, … What do you want to do? Do you want to be generous? It’s your free decision. God invites you. The Church invites you to take part in it, if you want!

We have Anglo-Saxon blood; Anglo-Saxon people love the challenges. Our challenge is to achieve the conversion of the non-Christian world. Do you want to take part in it?

 

How could you take part in it? There are different ways.

 

The first way of taking part is praying for the conversion of the pagans. Note that by using the word ¨pagans¨, I am not discriminating them; “pagan” is a biblical word. Is a technical word used to talk about the people that don’t know anything about Jesus; they have not yet heard the announcement of the Gospel. Therefore, this is the first mean of taking part in the missionary challenge: praying for the conversion of the pagans. You could offer them your Communions, your Rosaries … Prayers of little kids are extremely powerful for the conversion of the pagans. This is the teaching of the Church, as H.H. Pius XII underlined. If the little kids pray every day a very short prayer for the conversion of pagans, a lot of them could became Catholics! However, their parents, grandparents and catechists should teach the kids to pray for the pagans.

 

The second way of taking part in the missionary challenge is suffering; that is, offering your pains, your crosses, for the conversion of the pagans. Your sufferings are very useful; that is, your illness, your problems, all your sufferings could be offered for the conversion of the pagans, even the hot weather of this day. For example, if you wash glasses, you could offer each glass for the conversion of one Chinese people. Oh! If you do this, in some way, you are becoming a Missionary. If you like ice creams, one day you could renounce to it and offer it to God for the conversion of China. Maybe, because of one ice cream, ten Chinese people come to receive the Baptism! The pagans need your generosity!

 

The third way of taking part in the missionary challenge is giving alms for the missions. With alms, the Missionaries could establish churches, chapels, schools, work of mercies, seminaries and other apostolic foundations. If the Missionaries don´t receive alms, their work is extremely limited.

 

The fourth and most important way of taking part in the missionary challenge, is to become missionaries. Maybe, today one of you feels a big desire of becoming a Missionary. Don’t be afraid! Missionary life is the happiest life! Before becoming a Missionary, I had a very happy life; I had a beautiful girlfriend, a lot of good friends, a nice career, a wonderful family… Nevertheless, now I am extremely happy, happier than before. Why? Because I became a Missionary. Missionary life is the happiest life because we devout ourselves no to earn money or fame, but to help the other people know Jesus and achieve the Paradise.

 

IV

 

Taiwan is an island near Continental China. They speak Taiwanese, mandarin and aboriginal dialects. Only 1% of the people is catholic. 95% of the people don´t know anything about our Blessed Lord. Therefore, we teach them that God exists and that God is love. They don’t know that God loves them. They seem to think that most of them will go to hell, because they don´t have hope. Why don’t they have hope? Because they don´t know Jesus. Most of them adore idols. We know that the idols of the pagans are demons, according to the Psalm 95. Moreover, there are mothers that offer their babies to the demon.

 

But, what is our work in the Far East?

 

We attend six parishes in Taiwan, and one in Hong Kong. The Parishes have the normal activities: Mass, catechism, visits to the sick’s, Legion of Mary and so on.

We make works of mercy. Our Congregation gives food to the poor people. We preach Spiritual exercises of Saint Ignatius. We make apostolic activities with the young people. In Taiwan, we help the aboriginal tribes. They are called ienchumin people. We have three schools for the poor kids.

We also work with the non-Christian people. How? With different means. For example, we visit the houses of the pagans, knocking the door and inviting them to the Church to know Jesus. I love to visit the natives to present the mystery of Christ to them. The other day I went to a temple of idols to do apostolate. The owners became my friends. Now, the man wants a Rosary. Maybe in the future, he will renounce to the idols and became Christian.

 

So, don´t forget the words of Jesus, who said to us: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mc 16,15-16).

 

V

 

I will finish making you a question that, in some sense, is the most important question. Who are the poorest people?

I will give you the answer: the poorest people are those that don’t have the knowledge and the grace of God. These are the poorest people! Because of that, the missionary work is urgent!

 

The Missionary aim is to save the souls. What is the meaning of the expression “save the souls”? I will explain.

The most important task of our life is the eternal salvation of our soul. Therefore, at the end, it doesn’t matter if you don’t find a good job, if don’t have money to change your car, to buy new phones or to have a better internet connection. The most important task is to achieve the eternal Paradise. At the end, only one thing is important: the eternal salvation of the soul.

Therefore, because of this, the missionary activity is urgent. Saint John Paul II said it clearly: he proclaimed “the urgency of missionary evangelization”[3]. Why? Principally because “missionary evangelization […] is the primary service which the Church can render to every individual and to all humanity in the modern world”[4].  But, why is the is the missionary evangelization the primary service? Because the most important task of our life is the eternal salvation of our soul.

Don´t forget the Missions!

As one Pope said, the Missions rescue many “souls from the arrogant domination of Satan”[5] helping them to enter “into the freedom of the children of God”[6].

Don´t forget the Missions!

 

Amen.

[1] Preached in Ohio, August 2015.

[2] Cfr. H.H. Benedict XV, Maximum Illud, 2: “Even in the first three centuries, when persecution after persecution, inspired by Hell, fell upon the infant Church in a raging attempt to crush her, even then when the whole of civilization was deluged with Christian blood, out on the far frontiers of the Empire the heralds of the gospel  journeyed, announcing  their tidings. Then, after peace and religious freedom had been officially granted to the Church, her apostolate to the world made far greater progress. In this achievement a number of men  of striking sanctity played outstanding roles.  One of them was Gregory the Illuminator,  who brought the Faith to Armenia . Another was Victorinus, the apostle of Styria. Frumentius , who evangelized Ethiopia , was a third. Later on Patrick brought forth the Irish in Christ ; Augustine introduced the Faith among the English ; and Columba and Palladius preached the gospel to the Scots . Later still Clement Willibrord, the first Bishop of Utrecht, brought the radiance of the gospel to Holland ; Boniface and Anagar carried the Faith to the Germans; and Cyril and Methodius won Slavonia for the Church “.

[3] Redemptoris Missio, 2.

[4] Redemptoris Missio, 2.

[5] H.H. Benedict XV, Maximum Illud.

[6] H.H. Benedict XV, Maximum Illud.

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