I sincerely apologise for deviating from the trend of tecsthought series this week. The caption above explains my reason. “I AM DEEPLY TROUBLED!” Our Missionary movement has been stucked. The measuring rod which was meant to measure the mud is thrown into the mud, the music which was meant to direct the symphony of mission is thrown into discord. This is unbearable. Our evangelization principle is on its knees, badly weakened by gross sign of indifference, overt theological disorientation, dislocated spirituality and rape of ideals. This is even more agonizing.
Unfortunately, when the young people lament and complain to their fathers, they are referred to their ancestors. Indications therefore emerge that old errors have cast its shadow on the present, staining the hopes we share, the doctrines we uphold, the dogma we protect and the glory we all desire.
- It could be recalled that Communism was able to expunge Christianity from Russia because the communist commisars lived their gospel of communism. They did not bring to Russians mere promises from Moscow, they brought bread and gifts. Not long after, the Lord’s prayer, ie “our father in heaven” was replaced with our father in Moscow. The reason is clear, daily bread did not come from heaven not even from Christians but from Moscow.
What was the consequence! Christianity died, bible became contraband, churches turned to halls for conferences and sharing of Moscow bread, and the president of Russia living in Moscow took the place of God.
If not for the Fatima children under the auspices of Blessed Virgin Mary and the observable signs of October 13, 1917, Russia would not have been reconverted.
Today, Islam is sweeping geometrically through Christendom because they seem to understand and practice their own logic and role of actions in evangelization and mission. Their crescent is making optimistic in roads against our cross.
Few days ago, Nigeria was reconsecrated into the immaculate heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary and we experienced the dancing Sun. yet no conversion; no collaboration. The watchword is still alive and kicking in our memories – “Give them something to eat.” (Matt. 14:16, Mk. 6:37, Lk. 9:13)
Sincerely speaking, it will take a whole dreadful dark tale to narrate how our age expunged Christ’s injunction of “give them something to eat,” how we disrespected the missionary designs, created our own strategies, then turn around to shift God into the ugly trend of our selfish relativism.
Perhaps we are waiting for the miracles that surrounded the conversion of St. Paul and the consequential emergence of Missio Ad Gentes i.e the evangelization of pagans.
Then we may ask ourselves certain questions…
Was this miracle necessary, when the early Christians Christianized the entire Roman Empire with a single act of charity? Did this miracle accompanied the arrival of vasco da gama in India in search of pepper and souls that marked the beginning of an important period in the history of evangelization in Asia in the 16th century? Did Joseph Lutz brought this miracle to Nigeria when in September 29, 1885, he was selflessly caring for the weak and the poor together with Hermas and Jean-Gotto at Onitsha warf. Was there any miracle applied when Bishop Shanahan was identifying with the interior and remote areas of Onitsha in Odigo. Obi of Onitsha actually got it right when he said, “charity became the motto of the mission that made it possible for the sick, the lepers, the blind, the lame, the abandoned, redeemed slaves, and the condemned to death, the outcasts and runaways etc. to have their rendez-vous around the mission.”
It was the powers inherent in charity that made peter to say that it covers a multitude of sin (1 Peter. 4:8). The Catholic theology was not mistaken by identifying no other virtue with love except charity. That is to say; charity identifies us with God for God is love. (CCC 1822). And where love and charity abides, there God is found. Summa Theologia of Aquinas called it friendship of man and God which unites us to God.
Caution: our mission is not a profession but a vocation that involves all; both married and celibate lives. It is not a personal choice but a call from the super ordinate being. It is not for our own good but for the good of others. And it is in this call to serve that we are sanctified. Late Dora Akunyili perfectly connected the dots when in 2007, she intimated the editorial crew of Torch publication that we gain fulfilment by putting smiles on the faces of others. May her gentle soul rest in perfect peace. Amen.
Against this backdrop therefore, let us embrace our mission with joys, with a sincere and loving sacrifice of mother Theresa, the patience of Vianney, the humility and detachment of Francis of Assisi, the admirable virtues of Anthony of Padua, and the Sacrifice of Kolbe, their lives, no doubts walked their talks. They were perfect representation of the thoughts of the papal preacher, Fr. Ramero Cantalamessa, who says that what counts is not the position I occupy in the church but the position that Christ occupies in my heart, as an ecclesial being, not just in theory but also in practice (cf. his homily on the first Sunday of Advent 2015).
HAPPY MISSION SUNDAY!!! Next week, we continue tecsthought series from where we stopped. That is, if God; why evil?