That is a question we can ask ourselves as we celebrate the 500 years of Christianity in our country. After 500 years, we have reason to believe that we have somehow “arrived” at a significant level of Christian life. The drama involved in that period must have taught us precious lessons, must have raised us to a certain level of Christian maturity, if we can call it that.
Now, are we ready to spread and share our Christianity with other people, not only within our country but also in others? Let’s remember that if we truly have imbibed the Christian spirit, we would surely be given that same mandate Christ gave to his apostles before he ascended to heaven to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mk 16,15)
As appropriately articulated in the motto of the celebration of the 500 years of Christianity in our country, we have been “gifted to give”. How are we giving ourselves from the abundant gifts we have received from God all through these 500 years of our Christianity?
Obviously, it is a question that we have to ask ourselves individually first, before we start figuring out what we have done in this regard as a Christian nation. Do we truly have an apostolic concern? Do we feel the urge to share our Christian belief with others? Do we know how to convert everything in our life into a means and an occasion to do apostolate?
And from our own personal examination, we can start asking whether our Christianity has spread more widely. Is there a rise in conversions? Is there a rise in vocations? Are we sending more missionaries to other countries? Are we producing more saints?
The answers to these questions may not capture the whole picture of the matter but they can give us some indicators about how we are faring in this regard. These indicators would be enough for us to know what to do, what resources would be needed, what direction and focus we need to take, etc.
We have to realize though that we should not be so much interested in numbers and in areas covered as in the quality of Christianity that we are spreading and sharing. Are we ready to tackle today’s challenges and the complex religious issues?
All these considerations should move us to be most serious in living our Christian life. Are we mastering the Christian doctrine such that we can readily answer the questions arising from the many religious issues around? We may have to figure out the doctrinal literacy of the average Christian faithful we have.
The more tricky part would be how to develop, enhance, and maintain the life of piety that would always serve as the basic dynamo in spreading Christianity around. This definitely would need a lot of spiritual direction and accompaniment of the people involved. Do we have the appropriate systems and structures for this?
It is important that our Church leaders be in the forefront in coming up with a wholistic plan to turn this beautiful motto of being “gifted to give” into a living reality. Obviously, they have to know how to orchestrate well the different charisms that are already in place and working in their respective circumscriptions.
Most importantly, we need to offer a lot of prayer and sacrifices to be able to correspond properly to Christ’s mandate to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”*