Every Christian is an ‘Apostle’

Word Alive–Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD July 11, 2021 / 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Some time ago I celebrated the culminating Mass of a two-day Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS) of the Loved Flock charismatic community at the DPWH chapel, Port Area in Manila.

What I considered remarkable was that the organizers were lay people and professionals who took time out to reach out to youngsters and adults coming from poor families around in need of spiritual renewal.

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The organizers did not only pray but shared their three Ts–time, treasure, talent.

They had taken seriously the call of Christ to go out to teach and provide spiritual healing as enunciated in the gospel of this 15th Sunday: “Jesus summoned the twelve and began sending them out” (Mk 6,7).

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Today, some have still the idea that the call of Christ to evangelize is addressed only to the apostles and their successors: bishops, priests and religious. That’s no longer true.

The Vatican II Decree on Laity puts it clearly: “Incorporated into Christ’s Mystical Body through baptism and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit through confirmation, the laity are ASSIGNED to the apostolate by the Lord himself” (3).

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So, whether you are a lawyer, clerk, doctor, politician, executive, teacher or an ordinary worker, you are sent out to share in the apostolic work of the Church. That’s why there are parish pastoral council, various parish organizations and charismatic and renewal communities like Couples for Christ, Marriage Encounter, Lord’s Flock, El Shaddai, and others.

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There’s another way of evangelization or teaching the Christian faith. Pope John Paul in his encyclical “Redemptoris Missio” wrote that the “most effective and irreplaceable” way of evangelizing is witnessing by Christian living and edifying example.

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There’s a story about a Hindu man who lay dying as the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta sought to comfort him. “What is this?” the man asked, grasping the crucifix that hung from her neck.

“That’s a symbol that reminds me of my God,” she replied. “Mother Teresa, then your God is also my God now!” the Hindu exclaimed as he breathed his last. Mother Teresa, now a saint, never preached nor pontificated about love. It’s her serene, silent action that endeared herself and the Christian faith to Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Protestants. She had taught the world by her sterling deeds.

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ASK YOURSELF: What apostolic work are you doing for your church?

Aside from going to Church and receiving the sacraments, do you also do acts of charity, especially in times of crisis like now when numerous people are suffering? What the medical frontliners sacrificing for the sick, those engaged in bayanihan projects and community pantries, and prayer warriors are praiseworthy acts of charity.

In everyday life, do people see honesty in your dealings and transactions, fidelity in your married life, justice in treating your workers and helpers, forgiveness when others wrong us?

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While we’re still in this world, let’s do our apostolic work and obligations as Christians. If we do this and we will come face-to- face with the Lord in the next life, He will welcome us, saying, “Come good and faithful servant. Come and possess the Kingdom prepared for you since the beginning of the world.”

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LAUGH ONE ANOTHER. Three friends met in a class reunion and were engaged in a spirited conversation. “In our town,” said the first, “people call me ‘Monsignor’ because I am a part-time lay minister.”

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The second said: “Well, I’m now a businessman but I’m an active charismatic elder. I give spiritual talks so everybody calls me ‘Cardinal’.”

The third classmate who was quietly listening had his turn to speak: “Well, I’m a sales representative. I help in church as collector at Mass. Many call me ‘God.’”

* * *

“What, God? How come!” his puzzled friends reacted. The sales rep said, “You see, when I knock at the door of my customers, and they see me with my products, they exclaim, ‘My God, my God, you again!’”

(There are more and more lay people who are active in various apostolates of the Church. May their number increase!). GOD BLESS!

One comment

  1. Thank you for posting the homilies separately from the Mass daily as we also have the daily Mass in our respective parish, diocese, archdiocese. I try to check out your homilies daily to hear the different takes on the day’s readings. From your homilies/reflections on YouTube, I also get to know what’s happening in my native land. I hope you continue doing so – i.e. sharing them, even after all the pandemic restrictions are lifted. God bless you all and your different ministries!

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