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Chosen and Sent

As we finished our Missionary Formation Program (MFP), we had a commissioning just before the final blessing of the Holy Mass. It was held at the priory of the Community of St. John where we also had our week-long formation retreat. It was really new for me, although almost every year for the past ten years I have committed my promise as a servant of God in front of the people during Mass. That day was different because I was not saying my promise to the church as an altar server but as a full-time missionary of Pure Heart Philippines.

It was my first time to be commissioned as a missionary, and I felt a heavier responsibility than before. I felt it the most during our adoration the night before the commissioning. I was sitting at the back of the small yet beautiful chapel of St. John, facing Jesus Himself in the Blessed Sacrament. I asked Him why He called me, a sinner, to be His missionary. I had doubts with myself because I know that I am just nothing, and the world will be the same without me. When I was busy asking Him these questions in my heart, God answered me in His very simple way. It was not a loud voice or an apparition. God answered me in silence. Looking at Him in the form of a thin host that seems to be powerless and cannot do anything, that was His answer for me. He may seem like nothing, but that white bread at the altar is Jesus Himself.

I may think that I’m nothing, but the truth is I am commissioned by God because I am His, and because He loves me. Yes, not only me, but all of us are commissioned or given a call to do the same as He did for all of us: to love. The Gospel message that Sunday was also very timely, the Parable of the Talents. God gives us graces according to what we need for our mission, and it is up to us how to use it. Will we make it double?

Finally, when the commissioning happened, I just remembered the great apostles of Jesus. The word "apostle" comes from a Greek word "apóstolos", which literally means "one who is sent off." Yes, I felt worried at first about what would happen next for me, but the great promise of God comes into my mind which is also one of my favorite Bible verses. It is the last verse of the Gospel of St. Matthew, 28:20 - “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” And this verse is already enough to console my troubled heart.

Written by Jasper Salomeo, full-time missionary for Pure Heart Philippines 2020-2021.

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