Becoming A Missionary

In the first reading, Nehemiah who was cupbearer to the king of Persia asks the king to let him go back to Israel to rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem. The king allows him to go and even supplies him with timber to rebuild the walls of the temple. Unlike Ezra who was a scribe/priest, Nehemiah was a layman highly trusted by the king. This tells us that our Christian community (which is also the temple of God) must be rebuilt by both the priests and laymen. There must be laypeople who will give all or most of their time to the evangelization of the faithful, to the building up of the Christian community. We need Christian lay couples and families actively doing the apostolic work of priests.

The gospel talks about the hardships of the apostolic calling. A missionary catechist must be ready to endure any and all physical discomforts to preach anywhere. He understands that his guide in the missions, Jesus Christ, “had nowhere to lay his head.” Also the missionary must be ready to cut off all family ties in order to concentrate fully on his apostolate. Once he leaves his house, parents, relatives, etc. he does not know if and when he will come back. He understands that to preach the Good News takes precedence over all family obligations. The last requirement to becoming a missionary is being ready to leave everything behind – a good job, comforts of life, friends and family. But of course support from his family would be a big help in his missionary work.

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