The missionary spirit

Nineteen years of age, and filled with enthusiasm for service in foreign lands. A rare breed amongst the young people of today. I was thrilled to hear that a friend’s niece had spent an entire month in a remote part of Africa, experiencing the joys of serving the poor with other missionaries who are like-minded. She is also a catechist in her parish, and one can be sure that she would be able to ignite in those under her charge a deep passion for the Lord and his call for service in his vineyard. What a joy it must be for those who associate with her. Such enthusiasm is usually infectious, and what better witnessing than a life that is ready to put everything aside for Him who first loved us and who has exhorted us to bring His Good News to the ends of the earth.

Praise God! May the Lord raise up for the world more young people of this calibre.

On the other hand, it pains the heart to learn that in this world of ours, there is also a young man of nineteen whose life style is totally the opposite. He made plenty of quick money and then flew from his country to a third world country where he could live like a king. By living like a king, one could take it to mean that he would fritter his time away with activities that are more for himself. He would be concerned with ‘living it up’and he would be concerned with not having to labour daily for his three meals. Such a vast difference in this young life, and how did that happen? One might attribute it to a major difference: the young lady has Jesus in her life, and she loves him so much that she is prepared to discern if she has a vocation in the religious life. The young man lives a secular life, far from the worship of God almighty. His values are not the kingdom values of God but the values of the consumeristic and materialistic world.

Yes, as Fr Aruppe had once said, it all depends on who you are in love with. The one you love will motivate you in the direction that you are prepared to go. If you are for Christ, you will take the narrow path, the road less travelled. But if it is the world that beckons to you, you follow the bright lights and forget that all that glitters is not gold.

The choice is ours. Who are we leaning on?

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