Imagine how happy it is to live in a world with the presence of Jesus, with Jesus as the groom of the entire world! All people of the world, despite their different cultures and beliefs, would join in celebration with the saints and angels in heaven, everyone together in prayer and song and experiencing the boundless love of Jesus! Is there a reason to fast if Jesus is with us? Why ask for more if Jesus completes our life and our entire being?
Fasting and the Call to Conversion
In Matthew's Gospel, the disciples of John approach Jesus and ask, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast (much) while you and your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answers them, “Can a wedding guest mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The day will come when the bridegroom is taken away, and then they will fast.” (Matthew 9:14-15)
The external practice of fasting should lead us to conversion — an inner conversion that leads us to a better understanding of our world as a banquet where we should be compassionate with and respectful of our brothers and sisters regardless of nationalities, cultures and beliefs.
Sharing the Joy of the Gospel
As we celebrate the Year of Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue, we are bound to share the love of Jesus with people from all walks of life. For me as a religious missionary priest, the heart to share Jesus, the Divine Word, is not merely a duty to fulfill in sacrifice of mourning and fasting but an act of loving service in places the Gospel has not been preached.
True ministers of Jesus are happy and joyful people. Anywhere we go, regardless of our own incapacities and limitations, we should find joy in our ministry despite the presence of danger, hunger, persecutions and other obstacles. To be in solidarity with people of different cultures and beliefs brings us to a higher level of mission. If Christ is not present in us, how can we share his love with other people?
Join Our Missionaries this Lent
We, the Divine Word Missionaries, are sent to more than 81 countries all over the world. The beauty of bringing our religious order together as one community from different cultures improves our understanding of Christ’s mission. We thank St. Arnold Janssen, our father and founder, who started it all and showed us the beauty of serving the Lord and his people in all parts of the world.
Can we mourn or fast as long as the bridegroom is with us? Do we find joy in sharing our life for the mission? True joy comes only in Jesus. If we are with Jesus and live a life like Jesus, we can easily bring Jesus to a place where sadness, darkness, mourning, individuality and negativity are present.
Be a happy and a joyful missionary!