Tuesday, January 4, 2011

min NIEQA - MESSAGE - JANUARY 2011

JANUARY 2011

The Archpriest’s Message

MISSION

Maybe it sounds strange that I mention the word “mission” during the month of January.
We usually associate this word with the month of October when the Catholic Church makes the special collection to be given to the underdeveloped countries where missionaries go to work with the poor.
The word “mission” is derived from the Latin word “missio” meaning “to send”. This means that all those who received the Sacrament of Baptism received also the light of faith and mission – the particular work which one has to accomplish to express the gift of faith one had received. So each one of us were sent to go and deliver to others the Kingdom of God, everyone according to his capabilities and time available. If we understand this properly, the world, the parishes, our families, will be in a much better position than they are today. And this is where our weakness is: that we do not realize enough what mission the Lord has entrusted us with, and how to accomplish it.

Married Life

Many couples choose married life as if it is just a personal choice. Usually they follow this process: first the physical attraction to the person, then going out together for a number of years and thus finding out that they agree with each other and so fix the date of marriage and eventually get married. However, some people reason that this was their choice and so have just to put up with! We cannot ignore the fact that there are some who reason it out in this way.

What a great difference it makes, when, I look at married life as a call from the Lord to which my mission is linked. I should keep on asking myself these questions:
a) Am I doing the right choices in my married life according to the Lord’s will?
b) Am I giving my love as the Lord loves? Am I trying to be creative in my relations with the other members of the family, or I am taking everything for granted?
c) Am I injecting enough enthusiasm in our married life, or I am being lethargic with lassitude and indifference?
d) Do I believe that neither myself nor the other members of the family are robots, and so we need the attention and the caresses of each other?
e) How do I react when I am faced with difficult moments? Do I rebel, panic, offend or put the blame on others?
f) Do I consult the other members of the family when a decision is to be taken?
g) Do I create a balance between work, relaxation, hobbies, religious duties and time spent with the family?
h) Do I ask my wife, my husband, my children if they are happy with my attitude? Am I humble enough to accept any correction?
i) Am I capable to make drastic decisions when I find out that my behaviour is a threat to our married life?

These are questions which I have to keep on asking myself and remember that it was not ‘my choice’ but ‘my mission’. I should never be perfectly certain that what I am doing is right, but I should always ask myself if what I am doing is what is expected of me or else if I am doing what fits me.

Apostolic Work

This applies also to those who dedicate themselves to Apostolic work and work in the parish.
I see in all those who work together with us, a good will to dedicate their time even with great sacrifices to do important work. I am afraid that even these have not understood enough that their work is a ‘mission’ which they have not chosen themselves but the Lord chose it for them - so that they give witness and work for Him.

If we were to realize how much the Lord loves us when He chose us through the Church to work for Him in order that the Kingdom of God grows more amongst us, then we would do everything we can do to please Him.

a) when I accept willingly an offer to work in a particular kind of work;
b) when I do my best so that my service is creative, constant, enthusiastic, professional and spontaneous;
c) when I overcome the difficulties which occur from time to time and keep giving my services;
d) when I am cautious on how I speak about others, judge them or criticize them, so that I do not harm anyone with my words;
e) when I be diligent to work more with others and not on my own and not offended when someone hurts me;
f) when I take more seriously formation meetings, and attend organized meetings and activities;
g) when I organize my time according to priorities, doing the essential things first and lessen those that are less important and can do without;
h) when I find more time for prayers, on my own or with others so that I can find out what the Lord expects of me.

I will be successful if I believe that the work accomplished is not my work but the work which the Lord has entrusted to me to help Him. It was Him who gave me this ‘mission’. He sent me to be His ambassador. It will make a big difference if we look at this mission with this perspective.

Maybe this is what is lacking - too sure of ourselves and our work. The Lord wants us to keep on asking and searching for the Truth. By doing this, He will show us many new and more beautiful ways in our life, both in married life and also in apostolic work.

The Lord is dynamic and He wants us to be like Him. He does not like to see us lethargic and apathetic, but creative. This way, we will be more content in our lives despite the troubles we encounter, sometimes, even in our everyday life.

Father Evan