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Christ wants us to be apostles

There is no doubt we are all meant to be apostles of Christ, to be his ambassadors. That’s simply because we are meant to be like Christ, to be ‘another Christ,’ and so we share also in his redemptive mission which is a continuing affair as long as we are still in this world.

No wonder then that Christ would just choose his apostles seemingly at random. He would just pass by a certain place, and upon seeing someone, he would just say, “Come, follow me.” And wonder of wonders also, the person called would just follow him without question. In fact, it is said that the person called would leave everything behind (“relictic omnibus”).

We are all meant to be apostles of Christ with the lifelong concern for doing apostolate, taking advantage of all the occasions and situations in life. Vatican II spells it out very clearly. “The Christian vocation is by its very nature a vocation to the apostolate.” (Apostolicam actuositatem, 2) So, anyone who wants to be truly consistent to his Christian identity and calling should realize ever deeply that he is called to help others get closer to God. This is what apostolate is all about.

This duty actually springs first of all from our nature. We are not only individual persons. We are also a social being. Our sociability is not an optional feature. It is part of our essence, violating which would be equivalent to violating our very own nature.

We can never live alone. We need to be with others. And more, we need to care for one another. We have to be responsible for one another. And while this caring and loving starts with the most immediate material human needs like food, clothing, etc., it has to go all the way to the spiritual and most important and ultimate need of ours.

That’s why we need to practice affection, compassion, understanding, patience and mercy on everyone. We have to understand though that all these can only take place if they spring and tend towards God, “the source of all good things” for us.

We need to be familiar with this Christian duty. We have to do apostolate, and we need to see to it that the zeal for it is always nourished, stoked and fanned to its most intense degree.

We have to understand though that in doing apostolate, we should rely only on Christ’s power. Thus, Christ in commissioning his apostles, told them  to “take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money…” (cfr. Lk 9,1-6) He will provide for everything that we need.

On our part, we should just be as generous as we can be in carrying out that responsibility. “Without cost you have received. Without cost you are to give.” (Mt 10,8) For sure, with these words of Christ, we are strongly reminded to be generous, to give ourselves completely to God and to others, sparing and keeping nothing for ourselves, because God has been generous with us.

We need to develop a keen sense of generosity and self-giving that is also a result of detachment. Let’s never forget that whatever we have comes from God who wants us to work for the common good. Thus, we hear St. Paul saying, “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor 4,7)*

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