• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
Tuesday, 29 September 2020 18:00

Be not afraid - a reflection

 

Fr Michael Knight SVD 150By Fr Michael Knight SVD

 

The Freedom of Discipleship                                                      

In Mark 3: 13-14, we find the makeup of the calling to discipleship;

… (Jesus)…summoned those he wanted. So they came to him …..  and  he appointed twelve; who were to be his companions ….  to be sent out to proclaim the message…”

There is a pattern of 4 steps in this process:

Step 1    God or Jesus chooses the person they want

In John’s Gospel Jesus says: “”You did not choose me, I chose you”

A short wise parable from a country in the Middle East

“Past the pious man on the prayer rug came the cripple, the beggar and the beaten. Seeing them the Holy Man went down and down into deep prayer and cried: “Great God. How is it that such a great Creator can see such things and yet do nothing about them?’ And out of the long silence God said; “I did do something about them, I made you”.

God doesn’t intervene directly but through those whom he chooses like Moses and so many others.  God is not an uncaring God, because he appears to be doing nothing, but rather a God who chooses representatives to go on mission on his behalf.

Do Not Be Afraid 550Step  2    The person called feels inadequate or afraid

What about such feelings of fear or inadequacy ?

I remember once, one of my confreres saying to me about himself; “When I was young I didn’t excel at anything, not in school studies or sport or music or anything in which I saw others doing very well. When I was in High School and they were choosing a soccer team, I was never chosen for that. I was always left behind”.

He didn’t say this in a self-pitying way like “Oh, poor me”, but just as a statement of fact which it was. But then he went on to say: “God called me to be a religious brother in the Divine Word Missionaries. God could have chosen others but he chose me and here I am”. At the time he said this his transparency touched me and I wondered how he could just come out and say this to a group of people.

God or Jesus doesn’t choose us because we are more gifted or holy than others. God chooses us because we are the ones available at a particular time and place.

Sometimes when we look at ourselves or our confreres we wonder: “Couldn’t God or Jesus have done better than this?”

Let me share a parable about this tension.

When Jesus went up to heaven after the resurrection, an angel asked him: “Lord who will carry on your mission on earth?” Jesus then pointed to the people standing below on the mountain from which he had just departed. ‘These men and women below will carry on my work”. But the angels inspected them and were not too impressed. Another angel asked Jesus: “What if they fail in this, do you have a fall back plan?” Jesus paused for a long time and finally said: “No there is no other plan, they are all I have”.

We have to hold in balance then, this tension, between God’s or Jesus’ unconditional love for all people on the one hand and their preference for calling some for a special mission on the other. Perhaps we come closest to a resolution of this tension when we affirm that a calling to be a missionary religious comes entirely from the love of God and not from any merit or achievement on our part.

Step 3     God assures the chosen one of a constant presence, grace and love.

The phrase “Do not be afraid” occurs 366 times in the Bible in both Testaments. Obviously God knows us very well.

God reassures Moses with the words: “I AM WHO WILL BE WITH YOU”

God reassures Jeremiah:

“Do not say I am only a child, for you must go to whomever I send you….. Do not be afraid of confronting them for I will always be with you….”

In Luke 5:8-11 (The huge catch of fish at the Lake of Gennesaret)

“When Simon Peter saw this (huge catch of fish) he fell at the knees of Jesus saying “Leave me Lord, I am a sinful man”. But Jesus said to Simon: “Do not be afraid, from now on it is people whom you will catch”.

This was Peter’s first experience of being loved and blessed by Jesus. Later, after the resurrection Jesus asks Peter three times: “Do you love me?” All of us need to answer that question in our own hearts.

Step 4   God or Jesus sends the person out on mission.

Jesus says “As the Father has sent me, so am I sending you” (John 20:21)

We should give the last word to Mother Teresa, the outstanding disciple of Jesus….

One morning Mother Teresa notices a gathering of people outside the Temple to Kali. As she draws near she sees a man stretched out on the ground with upturned eyes and a face apparently drained of blood. A triple cord denotes that he is a Brahmin, one of the priests from the Temple. No one dares touch him because of his caste and because they all know he is suffering from cholera. She bends over, takes the body of the Brahmin in her arms and carries him to the home for the dying. Mother Teresa can do this because his body is so dehydrated and wasted away. Day and night she nurtures and ministers to him and eventually he recovers. He later expresses his wonder that a Christian would help him in this way. He is utterly astounded.