THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
OUR CALL AND MISSION - 4
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
It was an amazing scene at the first Christmas. The shepherds
“went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant
lying in the manger.” (Lk 2:16). As to our call and
mission, this points us to two important elements--family
renewal and work with the poor.
God sent His Son into the world through a human family. For
the mysterious work of salvation, God chose the totally inscrutable
act of God becoming man, born of woman. Family is fully a
part of the salvific work of God. Not only that, God’s
intent is not only to save us but to incorporate us into His
family. As such, “when the fullness of time had come,
God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to
ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption.”
(Gal 4:4-5). Salvation and family go together. “So you
are no longer a slave but a child” (Gal 4:7a).
the family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus was poor, and Jesus was
born in a stable. At that time they were like homeless immigrants,
with no room for them in the inn, with no decent place to
stay in. But who did God invite to this grand event of the
birth of the Savior of the world? God sent the angel of the
Lord to proclaim this good news to poor shepherds. They came
bearing no gifts. The family offered them no food. It was
a gathering of the poor! With this scenario, God indicated
the dignity of and a preferential option for the poor, and
the importance of the poor in the work of salvation. We are
to be a Church of the Poor.
there is a third important element in our
call and mission. It is a more fundamental work that is necessary
to support the works of family renewal and serving the poor.
This is the work of evangelization. For family renewal and
work with the poor, there needs to first of all be conversion
of hearts. This happens as people meet Christ and start to
live Christ; then they share Christ. Thus, according to the
plan of God, the poor shepherds became the first to proclaim
the good news. “When they saw this, they made known
the message that had been told them about this child.”
(Lk 2:17). Just as fishers of fish would later be called by
Jesus to become fishers of men, tenders of sheep were now
called to tend to the flock of God. And God used these poor
ordinary people to effectively share Christ. “All who
heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.”
(Lk 2:18). And why not? The gospel is utterly amazing.
we are called to share this incredible good news, to all the
earth. “So shall your way be known upon the earth, your
victory among all the nations.” (Ps 67:3). We are called
to rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization.
can our families be renewed and strengthened? How can the
poor experience justice? How can the nations of the world
experience peace? In other words, how can we all be blessed?
It is when we turn to the Savior and truly become children
of God. And it is when we proclaim the good news of salvation
in Jesus to all, so that the nations themselves might turn
to the one true God. “May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you!” (Ps 67:4/6).
the Holy Spirit fill our hearts and our lives to enable us
to fulfill our call to become children of God and our mission
to renew the family. God has already done His part in sending
His Son Jesus into the world, in Jesus suffering and dying
for us, and in the Holy Spirit infilling us. “As proof
that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into
our hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’”
we start this new year, we continue to pray for God’s
blessing, so that we can fulfill our mission, especially in
proclaiming His salvation to the whole world. “May God
bless us still; that the ends of the earth may revere him.”
invoke God’s blessing upon you all. “The Lord
bless you and keep you! The Lord let his face shine upon you,
and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and
give you peace.” (Nm 6:24-26). Amen.