‘We have left everything to follow you.!’ (Mark 10:28)
Jesus was a great one for paradoxes, – for turning things on their heads, for us. Here’s one such: ‘If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up, or ‘lose’, your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.’ (That’s in Mark, Chapter 8, verse 35) Here’s Jesus inviting us to ‘Get Lost!’, that is, to let go, to ‘lose ourselves’ to him and to his people.
Redemptorists are Missionaries,- sent, with Christ’s own love for people. ‘Go out to all the world!’ said Jesus to his disciples, not just then, but now, today, here. Share with people the light of the Gospel of Jesus, and learn from people how to live in the same light with them. Every Redemptorist, no matter how young or old, ill or well, able or incapacitated, is a missionary, a person sent: we do this by our words, our prayers, our lives, our struggles, as we walk alongside people on the road of life.
This Redemptorist first felt the call at age seven! There was a Mission in our parish on the Navan Road in Dublin, given by two Redemptorists, Sometime during it I said to my young self- ‘I like what these guys are doing, I like their style, their message, their joy. I think I would like to do that, too!’ This stayed with me during my teen years, and it was with a heart and a half that I entered the Redemptorists. I’ve been a ’Redemptorist Missionary’ now, for a lot of years. No regrets! Je ne regrette riens! It has been a life of joy, received and shared. It’s been a gift of God. It’s been a real grace.
The day I left home, I went with my parents to morning Mass. It was August 20th. The Feast was that of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, who founded the Cistercians. The Gospel, I still remember it, was ‘What about us, Lord? We have left everything to follow you!’ “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields–along with persecutions–and in the age to come eternal life.’ (St. Mark, 10:28-30)
And that other line, from another day: “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.” (Mark 8:35)
So, we invite you to ‘get lost!’- to let go and let Christ! If you give everything to him, you will get a hundred times more again, in return,- not forgetting that persecutions will be thrown in as well, for good measure. Remember, you can never outdo Jesus in generosity!
‘Each new generation is a new continent to be won for Christ’. ‘Every one of you is called by name, by Jesus’: - called to what? to whom? Maybe to be a wonderful spouse and parent, living a life ‘poured out’ like Jesus, for your family and your community. Maybe to be a single person, living a life ‘given for you’, like Jesus for people. Maybe to live a life consecrated to God as a religious sister, brother, priest, sharing the joy of the Gospel with your own generation.
What is the Spirit saying, in your heart, at this time?
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There’s a world to be won for Christ!
Seamus Devitt C.Ss.R., June 2015.