Like the young man who asked Mother Teresa ‘what can I do?’, we to have to start somewhere if we have not been very engaged in the ministry of the mission. Some of us may be aware that we’re no longer gifted for what we have been doing but don’t know what else we could do. Many, like the young man will be sadden and discouraged by felling like they cannot single-handedly convert or change the world! For all of us, the important thing is to allow the Holy Spirit to stir up our courage, to help us discern our path and to seek to become strong and able. We can follow the example of someone like St Teresa of Calcutta who realized that there were thousands and thousands of the poor, destitute and dying who needed her immediate help. But she started with just one at a time.
Christ called 12 Apostles, appointed seventy-two disciples from among many, to collaborate in his mission. We must never think that we are alone in the mission field. We may not see the other missionaries engaged in the way that we are or want to be, but they are out there in fields, and they are at home and in Church as prayer partners for the missionaries. Most of all, Christ is with every one of them. The Holy Spirit is empowering all the missionaries in their ministries of love.
This is the pattern of God. God chooses coworkers to help build his Kingdom: he is a team player. Jesus is saving the world, but not all by himself. He wants to do it with our help to keep spreading the announcement to the ends of the earth, until the end of time. From the pope down to the most recently baptized believer, we all share the same mission: to help Christ build up his Kingdom.
This should be our greatest joy.
As Pope Benedict once wrote: "I am convinced that there is a great need for the whole Church to rediscover the joy of evangelization, to become a community inspired with missionary zeal to make Jesus better known and loved." [Pope's letter to Pan-Asian meeting on culture, organized by Cardinal Paul Poupard, 27 November 2006]
So, back to the question, ‘what can I do?’…
Fr. Blair Gaynes has been in the Diocese since 2008.