Christ’s redemptive mission is very much an ongoing affair, and he involves all of us actually in this business. Those words that he addressed to his apostles, giving them their mission, can be considered as addressed to us also.
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few,” he said, “so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” (Lk 10,2) The task, of course, is overwhelming and we are asked to give our all. But we should not worry because Christ will always be with us. It’s his work, after all, before it is ours. We should just cooperate with him.
In this regard, we have to give special attention to what may be considered as the new mission lands nowadays where we do not have to go far to carry out this duty. This can be done right where we are.
Yes, 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.
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.
And nowadays, we seem to get more convinced that the new mission lands are not anymore those places and people who are far away from the mainstream, those who still are kind of primitive in their culture and deprived even of the basic material necessities, or who are still into their own pagan ways. Of course, due attention and evangelization should continue for them. These should never stop.
But we are more convinced that the new mission lands are the more developed countries that are in the middle of the mainstream world but are very far in their faith. More than far from the faith and from God, they look more like resistant and even against God and anything that has to do with religion. They are more challenging since the attention and evangelization to be given to them require a more complex strategy.
We have to give special attention to these new mission lands!*