by Jason Wilde
For you were called for freedom, brothers. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love. (Galatians 5:13)
We are given many freedoms in this life. In fact, you could say that we are free to do anything we want. If I want to say something, I can open my mouth and say it. If I want to tear down a tree, there is nothing that stops me from doing so. If I want something I don't have, I can go and strike someone who has one and take it from them. It's really amazing, all these freedoms we're given!
But these freedoms, if not kept in check, will eventually result in chaos. This is because our flesh wants us to desire, dominate, and survive. God created us with these freedoms knowing that they could be our undoing, but He also provided His guidance.
And so we are given laws that enable or discourage some freedoms. Some laws are from God's covenant with man, others are from governmental principalities, and still others come from our culture and the way people 'normally' act. God's law is simple - to love Him and each other. If you do something that does not lead to loving Him or your neighbor, than it is against His law. Beyond this, all other humanly laws limit freedoms that God has given us. Even a worldly law that agrees with God's law will not prevent sin, as Ben Sirach tells us, "Like a eunuch lusting to violate a young woman is the one who does right under compulsion." (20:4)
On the contrary, God's law does not limit our freedom, but demands that we "serve one another through love." In this one calling, it actually frees us from the things of the world that enslave us - houses, clothing, food, addictions, mindless entertainment, boundaries, governments, social and political associations, cultural norms, or anything that keeps us from loving one another. No law of this world can actually provide freedoms in the way that God's law does. If you claim a freedom to speak and then use it to cut down, gossip, or spread hatred, then you are a slave to anger and revenge. If you claim a freedom to pray but use it to discriminate against others, then you are a slave to pride. If you claim a right to own property but refuse to share it with someone in need, then you are a slave to greed. If you claim a right to security but fail to open your door to the oppressed, then you are a slave to selfishness. If you claim a right to possess weapons that are designed to kill humans, then you are a slave to fear. All of these so-called 'freedoms' are still bound by God's Law.
And then there are laws that are contrary to freedoms provided by God's law. No institution of man is immune from creating these laws because we are all sinful. But we must recognize these laws and actively fight them, lest we become guilty of the evils these laws create. Most commonly, these laws are used to attack the most vulnerable who are not represented and have no voice - a non-citizen, a convicted person, an unborn child, or the poor. Recently, we have come across laws that prohibit direct charity to the homeless, for example. But there are also many laws which do not explicitly attack anyone but still harm and erode the dignity of humanity, of a person's ability to provide for a family, or to seek a better way of life. Our economy and social structures do a lot of this on their own without written laws, but when a government uses its own power to enact restrictions instead of protecting the most vulnerable, it becomes a god, swaying the wills and minds of politicians and voters to believe that some people are not valued.
On a day where worldly freedoms are openly celebrated, remember that the only true freedom comes from God Himself who calls us to use it to serve one another through love, for "the whole law is fulfilled in one word, namely 'you should love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Gal 5:14)
by Jason Wilde
“Hey, I noticed y’all’s shirts say you’re Catholic Missionaries…”
Not exactly a quote I get every day, but nonetheless, it helps me get past my fear of encountering a stranger. The stranger was a lone fisherman sitting by his pickup truck on a quiet beach in Louisiana. We had walked his way and briefly chatted about the 30 lb fish that he caught moments earlier and then gave to a nearby family sitting on the beach. His bait now wet again and line taut in the waves, he called us over to tell us that he too was Catholic, that a relative of his was a Jesuit missionary who he thought ‘did some good stuff’, and that he liked seeing us walking around the beach with our kids instead of watching TV or something else.
As we talked, I noticed an interesting looking contraption made out of PVC pipe. As I stared at it sitting by his truck, he began explaining how some guys had once caught an 8 foot Bull Shark while standing next to him, waist deep on the sandbar about 100 feet from shore. This terrified the fisherman as he didn’t like that one of the most aggressive sharks was swimming just feet away. And so, he built this PVC contraption which ended up being something like an air-powered potato gun for frozen squid slugs that he tied to his line and then shot beyond the sandbar from the safety of dry land. It really was a genius solution that would have never come about if he wasn’t placed in such an uncomfortable situation.
“Are you an engineer?”, Jessica asked.
The fisher smiled broadly. “No, I’m a Cajun.”
There are two responses to fear - fight or flight. This man could have wrapped up, sold his tackle, and found another way to live, or he could continue to do what he wanted to do in the face of a trial. But in the end, he did something better - he chose to look at the trial as a way to spark something new and better.
One of our conversion moments came in India when we were also placed in an uncomfortable and possibly dangerous situation. But instead of saying that we’ll never travel again, we turned to God, and He told us that we should lean in to our fear, traveling for His purposes.
Sometimes God uses these situations to allow us to revisit our life, step back, and turn to Him for a better answer. It gives us the chance to really depend on His wisdom and providence to rescue us, instead of thinking that we are in control and can work our way out of the predicament. As we begin the Easter season and listen to stories of the early Church from the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, we can really understand the uncertainty and fear that was going through the minds of these poor fishermen. Their Rabbi was crucified for His teachings, and they were next if they were caught. But the Risen Jesus changed all of this - He told them to put away their anxiety and do the opposite of what human reason would have suggested. He told them to go and be courageous. With no leader and no home, they boldly stepped out and God rewarded them with miracles of healing, preaching, and conversion. When they were forced out of the city walls, they didn’t scatter but instead camped out and shared everything they had with each other.
One of the biggest dangers of our modern lives is that it is too easy to depend on ourselves, to place our security in the hands of reason, technology and insurance companies instead of in God’s hands. It becomes impossible to see Him working in our lives, and therefore become closer to Him, when we are constantly looking for the human solution to any insecurity. Our Church is not suffering because of lack of religious freedom but because we have freed ourselves from needing God’s help and therefore have lost our witness of a life truly dependent on Him.
In the end, the fisherman’s solution was an inspiration to us...a witness of sorts...that went beyond his worldly needs. It taught us that we too need to give our fears and our plans to God and allow Him to give us the blueprints that we need in our lives.
The old man stayed all night, sleeping in his truck on the beach with his pole and squid cannon. Then as we watched him pack up his tackle and drive away the next morning, I couldn’t help but remember that St. Peter was a fisherman...
by Jason Wilde
About 15 years ago, I knew a friend who was a great music teacher and loved what he did. He inspired his students to use their talents and not be afraid of what others might say is more important. Recently, I decided to find out where he was working and found him on LinkedIn. During the recession, I could see that his job was most likely not stable and so he began working in the corporate world, where he moved up the ranks over the past 10 years. But to my surprise, from his LinkedIn profile, I could hardly recognize that he had any interest in music at all. The only reference to his former life was that he effectively managed the budget of a music program.
The way a person can completely change how they describe themselves in a corporate setting, hiding some of their God-given traits under the rug while trying to highlight and honor more 'marketable' skills is shocking. As someone who interviewed candidates for many years, I found it very common and at the same time disheartening that a person cannot be what God made him or her to be while contributing their gifts and talents to the common good.
We live in an economy where people are seen as mere resources, and we are always changing our very self to fit 'the mold'. Even more so, we are in a way bound to the job, vocation, and degree that we have chosen. This shouldn't surprise anyone because we are trained from a very early age that your education and degree defines you, and if I don't have a good, high paying job, it is because I didn't study and work hard enough. Pope Francis writes in Evangelii Gaudium that "Some simply content themselves with blaming the poor...for their troubles; indulging in unwarranted generalizations, they claim that the solution is an “education” that would tranquilize them, making them tame and harmless." We spend years of our lives being indoctrinated with education, an estimated 17,000 hours of our life in the 17 critical years of education, but only 1-2 hours a week finding God during that same time, which amounts to about 1,700 hours (that's right, 1/10 of the time!). When we do have that dream job, we find ourselves bound to it - our mobility, freedom to have time with family or God, and even our health care is controlled by our employment. (In fact, one theory about the high costs of health care in this country suggests that it is because our health care is socialized by insurance companies who can pass inflated prices on to the corporate world!) If we ever want to change jobs or vocations, or even take a sabbatical, we are threatened with loss of status, vacation time, health care, and future welfare in retirement.
They answered, 'We are descended from Abraham and we have never been the slaves of anyone; what do you mean, "You will be set free?"' (John 8:33)
But, living in a country that was founded and emphasizes freedom, it is hard to see myself as a slave. Like the Pharisees who were confounded by Jesus' use of the word, I can't even imagine what slavery would look or feel like, blinded by the very oppression that causes it.
Sin directs the heart of the wicked man;
The problem goes beyond employment - it lives in our media, telling us that we are less valuable as a person if we don't pursue new cars, a home mortgage, or lavish vacations at resorts. Then, when we do take on the mortgage and debt of things of this world, we are further bound to the job that allows us to keep paying for it.
This is not just a problem for the white-collar world - I've witnessed many poor neighborhoods where large TVs and cable service are normal, but it is because of advertising games - enticements of free high ticket items in exchange for years of payment for service. And then we judge these people for not having food to feed their children, but it is really no different from a wealthier person who has no time for his family because he has to work to pay for his home mortgage, car loans and security system.
"Man is reduced to one of his needs alone: Consumption" (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium)
I have also fallen slave to politics, believing everything that a politician would say while critiquing and questioning something that a church leader might teach in a homily or exhortation. In fact, I read Laudato Si', Pope Francis' encyclical on care for our common home, in order to find faults in it. I believed more in a political party's beliefs on the environment simply because they were the "pro-life party". Power is just as corrupting as money, and it is this quest for political power that entices us to unconditionally and wholeheartedly approve of anyone who opposes any one thing we don't agree with. This too leads to slavery like the Israelites, who were warned "how great an evil it is in the eyes of the Lord that you (ask) for a king." (1 Samuel 12:17)
But then there's the argument that money and power do not lead to slavery, if they are carefully used to save us from some evil. Daniel was a fine example of this argument when he was able to interpret (with God's grace) Nebuchadnezzar's dream, earning him a seat of power and importance in the king's land at a time when the Israelites were held as slaves. But, it is important to realize that this kind of gift must also be given up as soon as Satan tempts us to be slaves to the gift. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego gave up their seat in this same court when the king asked them to worship his idol, and it sent them into the fiery furnace (c.f. Daniel 3). They knew that by rebelling, they would face death and yet trusted in God to keep their souls safe. God rewarded them with a powerful miracle that helped do more good than anything they could have possibly done as administrators. We should also do the same, recognizing when our employer, favorite brand, or political party asks us to worship an idol or refuse God's love for one another.
By Chi Yu
Warning!!! This blog was published unedited with original spelling and grammar to preserve cuteness!
1 DEAR WAWA
1 DEAR WAWA
2 CHAPTHER 1
3 WAWA WAS PLAYING WIEF THE BUS ON THE NEXT 90 WEEKS WAWA
4 WAS FISHING OUT OF BIG WOODS 3 AND WAWA LIVE IN 1099 FEET
OF A HOUSE AND ON THE NEXT DAY
4 MR LOVER WAS PLAYING TECKT TO RIDE AND WAWA PLAYING THAT GAME.
JESUS DIE FOR ALL OF US.
IN MEXICO THERE WAS A GOOD GOOD GOOD GOOD FOOD ON THE NEXT 9089 THERE WAS
GG WAS PLAYING TECKT
1 TIME THERE WAS CHI YUDOOR AND THERE WAS
WAWADOOR ON THE NEXT DAY WAWA AND THERE WAS A
GOOD GOOD GOOD GOOOD GOOD GOOD GOOOD FOOD
ON THE NEXT DAY WE WAET TO MEXICO I LIKE WAWA
by Jason Wilde
I watched the scenery from the back of Padre Carlos' tiny hatchback on our way to Mass at a distant Puebla on a rainy Sunday morning. As we slid through the muddy back roads, I noticed that the scenery was changing. The rough, unfarmed greenery was slowly turning into flat, grassy ranches lands spotted with cattle and an occasional horse. Another 20 minutes later, Padre pulled his car up to a tiny little store and we made our way to the even tinier chapel perched on a hill on the other side of the road. The locals were just starting to arrive by truck and by foot, and I noticed that the men were relatively well dressed compared to other pueblas that we'd visited. Most had clean blue jeans, boots and cowboy hats; they were clearly ranchers.
The Gospel reading that Sunday was about Jesus as the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-18). Padre Carlos was a very popular homilist, and he didn't let us down. He started by asking the men standing in the back of the chapel how they called their herds. We listened as each one whistled in his own unique way, and the crowd of about 20 people giggled each time.
"If I could imitate one of you"...(whistling feverishly)..."would I be able to call your cattle?", Padre questioned.
"No!", the cowboys all responded in unison.
"Similarly, then if Jesus is the 'Buen Vaquero', do we listen to His call?" Padre continued.
Everyone laughed and seemed to nod in agreement.
"....or do we also listen to others? Do we listen when strange gods call us - gods of money, drugs, alcohol, gossip, TV, internet...?"
The still silence was deafening.
I keep reflecting back on this homily as we stand on the precipice of another season of lent, trying to decide how we are going to prepare ourselves to receive the Good Shepherd whom we all claim allegiance to. But, we live in a world of gods: gods who are loud and in our faces, gods who all vie for our attention and for our support, gods who want us to follow them, to be like them, to reject all others. And while we might claim to only serve one God, in reality we all struggle with this, and unfortunately, our God is a jealous God. He doesn't like when we listen and follow the calls of those other gods:
Interestingly, when push comes to shove, it seems that the faith claims and institutions of one's political party generally trump those of one's religion.
Lent is a time to remove ourselves from the presence and grasp of those other gods. It is a time to clear away the noise that distracts us from His calling. Usually, this means we must sacrifice something that makes us uncomfortable so that we can feel His healing presence. Every year, I struggle to find 'what I should give up', but in reality, I should be working to free myself from the calls of these gods so that I can hear the angelic whistle of the Good Shepherd.
by Jessica Wilde
After my first chemotherapy treatment, my white blood count dropped really low, I was neutropenic and at high risk of infection. We decided to go into quarantine until my numbers improved. The kids went stir crazy being stuck inside all week. One afternoon, the kids decided to pull all the mattresses off their bunk beds and started playing the trust fall game.
The trust fall game is where you trust that someone or something will catch you. You fall backwards without fear and in complete faith that the person and/or object will catch you. The kids giggled and laughed as they fell freely over and over again backwards onto the mattress without fear. At the chapel that evening, I began to ponder what it would be like to do a trust fall with God.
I had been struggling with anxiety lately. And these questions kept haunting me. Will the chemo work? Will I get sick? Will I die young leaving behind a young husband with four kids to raise? Will I get to see God's dream of the Busita become reality? I knew these questions were Not from God. They were from the devil trying to cause me undue pain and suffering. The devil was actively trying to lure my peace away.
I left the chapel perplexed. All I want in life is to love Jesus with total abandonment to His will for my life even if it's a cross that seems to big or unimagineable. I want to trust Him who loved and knew me before I was even conceived in my mother's womb. I want my life to be for Him alone. I desire that every breath be in His service and filled with His love.
So why couldn't I just let these questions go? Why couldn't I let the fear go? No matter how much I prayed, it seemed like the questions kept coming back to disturb my peace. I wanted to be completely free from all my worries and fear and instead have an increased dependence on God. In despair, I cried out. "Why can't I do a trust drop with you God?' I fell to my knees in my bedroom and cried out to Him who loves me.
"Father I adore you..."
Since learning I had cancer, I had sung this prayer multiple times a day everytime I was in pain, upset or anxious. But it wasn't until this moment that I realized that when I was falling to my knees in prayer, I was doing a trust drop with God.
There are three aspects to a trust drop. The first aspect is faith that there is someone behind you that will catch you. In terms of a trust drop with God, this means Faith that there is a God and that He is with you.
"Father I adore you.
And I lay my life before you.
How I love you.
How I love you."
The second aspect is trust. Now that you believe through faith that God is there, do you believe that He loves you and would never let you fall. If so, then you are able to make the drop.
"Jesus I adore you.
And I lay my life before you.
How I love you.
How I love you."
But there is a third aspect...
Have you ever done a trust drop with a friend and when you realized that you were falling reached out and grabbed the floor or tired in vain to catch yourself. This usually ends up with not only a failed trust drop but with a clumsy attempt to save yourself.
I had faith that God exists. I believed He loves me whole heartedly. But when the moment came and I realized that I was falling, I began to reach out with my strength to save myself through worrying about the 'should haves' or 'maybe I could' or 'what ifs'. And then googling in attempt to find the answers or 'phoning a friend' for the answers.
I realized that the devil was trying to make me stumble and fall by having me attempt to save myself instead of relying on God's providence. The secret to a successful trust drop is abandoning our fears to His Sacred Heart so He can save us. We can then place our full trust in His timing and His will which is love. Sometimes we surrender a particular fear once in our lifetime, other times once a day and during difficult times we maybe in a period of continual surrender. But Jesus rejoices every time we trust Him to save us and free us from our fears. After turning to Him to save us, we are then filled with His peace which allows us to be open and docile to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit helps us to live in God's will for today without fear of tomorrow or regrets of yesterday.
"Spirit I adore you.
And I lay my life before you.
How I love you
How I love you"
Now I look at these hard moments as an opportunity to draw closer to my Lord and choose Him as my Savior . At first this song was done through tears because the unknown can be scary. But after much practice, it has become easier to surrender these fears through prayer because of the beautiful fruits I've seen in my life. These fruits include freedom from worldly anxiety and the joy of living everyday in His will. Because when I abandon my fear and place my trust in God, I can see Him more clearly and feel His love more tenderly even when things don't go my way. His will is always far better mine.
I am terrified of needles. Thankfully Jason has always been there with me when I get my blood draw except for one time that I'll never forget. The phlebotomist walked in the hospital room to draw my blood. I was terrified and Jason wasn't there. I was alone. But I breathed deeply and choose to do a trust drop with God. As she walked in, she began to pray "Divine Physician take care of Jessica heal her...". Her prayer continued the entire time she drew my blood. Her prayer filled me with His peace. Afterwards she asked me "Do you believe in Divine encounters?" As I looked in her eyes, I saw Jesus looking right back at me. I nodded. I was not alone. He was there and always will be. The phlebotomist continued praying, turned and walked out of the room.
Jesus I trust in you.
Jesus I trust in you.
Jesus I trust in you.
By Jessica Wilde
As a missionary, we are all called to go out to the ends of the world to minister and care for the suffering flesh of Christ in our brothers and sisters. So this has been a humbling season in our lives as we became the suffering flesh receiving the Father's love through the service of our neighbors.
Jesus came to earth in solidarity with us to teach us how to live, how to suffer and ultimately die. But God the Father never let Jesus suffer alone. Simon helped Jesus carry His cross. The weeping women mourned Him. Veronica wiped His face. Mama Mary, Mary Magdalene and John never left His side providing their loving presence at His crucifixion. During the celebration of the Eucharist, we have the opportunity to join them with our loving presence at His crucifixion too.
Just like with His beloved Son, our Father doesn't desire us to suffer alone either. For us, it has been amazing to see our Father pour out His love during this difficult season through family, friend and even strangers.
Thank-you to the Good Semaritans that have loved us through our cancer journey. Thank you to the stranger at church who gave us $20, a smile and a prayer for health. Thank you to the anonymous lady who adopted our family over Christmas, bought us groceries (even a turkey!) and a whole bag of presents for the kids. Thank you to Anita from the Levi Cancer Association whom I had never met until she approached me at church and told us that the Holy Spirit prompted her to give us $500 to help us with cancer related expenses.
These random acts of kindness from strangers has taught us How to be Christ's hands and feet. Like the Good Semaritan, it takes eyes wide open to the see the suffering stranger in need. It takes courage to approach them admidst their suffering. It takes openness to the Father's will to understand how to serve them and then Christ strength to serve them.
Brothers and Sisters - Don't be afraid to be the good semaritan of our time. Reach out with courage, boldness and love to the stranger in need. You might just be the tool God uses to fill them up with His grace, courage and strength that will equip them to carry their cross for another day.
A generous attitude towards the sick is salt of the earth and light of the world. May Our Lady of Lourdes help us to practice it, and obtain peace and comfort for all those who suffer. (Pope Francis)
By Grace Wilde
When I last wrote a blog a year ago, people made it feel like it was too dramatic, too crazy, and plain wrong. Those persecutions hurt, so I was afraid of writing again. Costa Rica came and went, so did cancer. I wanted to write, but I still felt the suffering of the year come and gone. So I stayed silent and did not write. This Christmas, my mom got sick again twice! It all hurt. After experiencing, praying, and talking with my mom about it, I realized that suffering is good! Although, it does not come from God in the first place, God uses it as a crucible to burn away everything that is not of him.
This third I will put into the fire;
In biblical times, people would take gold and melt it down in a metal pot called a crucible. Then anything that is not gold would burn away which is same thing God does with us when we suffer. He uses suffering to burn away anything that does not belong to Him. It does hurt though, but Jesus uses suffering to make us even stronger. And during the pain, all we have to do is trust in Jesus to not take away the cross that we bear, not to make the cross lighter either, but for us to be crucified, buried and raised with the glory of God from the dead in his arms.
So this next year, I’m not going to let lies or persecutions silence me. I’m not going to let suffering take control of me. I am going to let Jesus take over the wheel and let Him speak through me. This is my letter and gift to Jesus this New Year .
By Jessica Wilde
All Fall my friends have asked me the same question... "How are you doing?" I always responded "good". But having cancer with a young family is like running a marathon. And while Jason and the kids took care of my physical needs 24/7, I took care of their spiritual and emotional needs 24/7. Unfortunately, I never really had the time to sit down and process the hard realities of cancer and the weight of its cross on myself. I was just surviving day to day. The last two weeks we participated in FMC's Year In Review retreat. My personal goal was to see how I was really doing emotionally and spiritually.
On the first day, they had us pick out a picture that described our present state. The picture that captured my heart was completely gray with what appeared to be a lifeless tree in a field of dead grass with a cloudy gray sky. The picture was quite depressing. "So why was that picture me?", I wondered
As I looked at the picture, I remembered all the losses I had experienced this year. There were times when I had to fast from all the things I love like chocolate, Dr. Pepper and coffee to times of isolation from neutropenia when I couldn't be near or hug my family to times when we couldn't join in my favorite community events like Lord's Day or Praise & Worship. Out of his intense love for me, my beloved husband stopped kissing me to prevent me from getting sick. I had to hide behind a mask. I lost my hair. We had to leave our home and friends in Costa Rica. I suffered cancer pains and chemo pains. I imagined my losses and sorrows as the leaves in the picture falling to the ground, the grass dying and the sky turning gray.
But then I looked at the tree again. It was standing strong amidst everything it had lost and endured. Despite all these real hardships, Christ was always there for me, thus my love for Him and reliance on Him during this time grew more and more till the time when He was all the pleasure that I had left in this world. And praise the Lord, the joy He brings is not temporal but eternal. Thank you Lord for allowing all the temporal pleasures of the world to disappear this year so I could focus on You.
As I looked back at the tree, it wasn't depressing at all but beautiful, just like me. In fact, it reminded me of some of the scenery from our first international date to Ireland many years ago. And I realized that I am not just good but great. Not because my cancer is in remission, (although that is awesome!) but mainly because the cross of cancer drew me close to the one that I love the most. That night when I used the bathroom, I looked at the cross that I had fallen to my knees in front of so many times with cancer pains. Now that the cancer pain is gone, I miss the times on my knees talking to Jesus. I locked the bathroom door and fell to my knees this time in praise and Thanksgiving.
Nothing whatsoever but the love of Jesus could have made me face these difficulties and others which followed, for I had to purchase my happiness by heavy trials. (Thérèse de Lisieux) 🌻
by Jason Wilde
Today is World Missionary Sunday, but I'm not going to share stories about building grass huts in Africa, or hiking through the jungles of Ecuador, or avoiding the eyes of governments in “Asia”. Here, you won't read about how the poor only eat rice or beans for every meal and sleep under a leaky roof. I'm not even going to ask for money. In fact, you could say that I'm about to make the world's least effective mission appeal.
Today, I'm going to tell you to be a missionary. After you leave church, follow the words of Jesus: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15), Love God, Love your neighbor, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you...Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back” (Luke 6:27-30). “Don't be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul” (Mt 10:28), forgive, do not judge, do not be angry or envious, give what you have to the poor and follow Jesus (Mt 19:21). Take what you hear and pray about every Sunday, put it into action and live your life every day as a mission!
For all the specific prayers or practices or rituals that you do every Sunday are meaningless if they do not implore you to share the love that Jesus gives you in response to those things. Faith is so much more than just a one-day commitment or a cross on your wall, and “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:14), and works that are done out of love, charity, and mercy are those that will bear witness to the Kingdom of Heaven. It is these things that will share the Gospel message, not debating, bragging, gossiping, or being envious or self-righteous.
So, today I invite you to be a missionary and to live your life as a mission. Be patient with one another. Invite a stranger to have lunch with you. Be kind while driving. Think less about the financial cost of each decision in your life and more about the impact it has on one another, our planet, and your own soul. Spend less on yourself and give more to those in need. Refrain from using Facebook as a political battlefield and try to listen to another's point of view with an open heart. Go out of your way to meet a non-Christian, someone from a different church, or someone who is just different, and love them! Love them not by trying to correct or educate but by becoming friends and sharing your life with them. Dampen your pride and sharpen your humility by allowing yourself to suffer just a little. By living your life as a mission your are offering salvation to yourself and to those you meet along the way, because “Mission revitalizes faith” (Redemptoris Missio, 2).
On a Mission
Two passionate parents and their four children are excited to bring His Word to everyone in need while living a life of Gospel poverty as missionaries. They invite you to join them on a journey to encounter our global neighbors that Jesus commands us to love through works of charity and service.