Today the Word of God speaks to us about the Mission of the Church. In the missionary journeys of the Apostles one can breathe the zeal they felt when preaching the Good News and proclaiming the Name of Jesus Christ.
The fire of the Holy Spirit not only burned them when speaking to those who did not know the message, but also made them move geographically to different regions and cities spreading the Gospel.
In this beautiful passage from the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, I have been able to perceive three essential keys of a good missionary. And that is why I would love to share it with you, because all of us, whether we know it or not, are called to be missionaries and apostles of Jesus Christ.
The first key is to be present where God moves, to be present in the life of the people. A missionary who flees from social life is not effective. God wants to have ambassadors everywhere and in all areas. That is why St. Paul embarked on so many missionary journeys, whether by land or by sea. That is also why he used to attend synagogues on Saturdays, because there he was guaranteed to meet God’s people. Have you ever asked yourself if your presence as a Catholic makes a difference where you are present?
The second key is to know how to take advantage of the opportunity we are given. And usually this opportunity comes only when we fulfill the first key, when we are where God wants us. Sooner or later your turn will come, your opportunity, to speak the message that you are the bearer of. «When the reading of the law and the prophets was finished, the rulers of the synagogue commanded them, saying, «Brethren, if you have any exhortation to make to the people, speak.» Then Paul stood up, and with a sign of silence with his hand, he said to them…» and so he began his preaching.
No one will ask for your opinion if you do not first present yourself, no one will ask for your help if you are not first in the place of need. But how many times are we asked to enlighten our surroundings with our faith and the teaching of Jesus Christ and we prefer to remain silent? How many miss out on hearing the Word of God because of the silence of today’s believers?
And the third key to the success of a good missionary is the strength and clarity of the message. St. Paul addressed the Jews directly without any fear. It is a grace of the Holy Spirit to be able to speak with courage and spiritual wisdom. It is not only a matter of transmitting the message in an accurate way, but also and above all to say the message that God wants to transmit to his people.
The people are tired of vain and worn out speeches, the people of God are eager for the word of God spoken with clarity and simplicity. Humanity deeply longs to receive a message that fills the history in which it lives with true meaning. The world is waiting for the Word of God, for the Gospel of Jesus. How many times have we erred in trying to transmit a message that suits us, but we have not prayed for the message that people need? How many times have we wanted to assert our own word first and not the Word of God?
Let us ask the Holy Spirit to move us with complete freedom and guide us where He wills in our missionary work. May He give us the wisdom to speak conveniently at the right time and not miss an opportunity in the preaching of the Gospel. And finally, may our word be an echo of the Word of God. May our life clearly transmit, with our words and actions, the Gospel of Christ and may our voice and conduct never distort its message. Amen.