Yesterday Our Lady gave us a little teaching on being an apostle of love and as adapting this as a missionary style.
At the start it might even seem confusing if we have been used to handing out rosaries and bibles etc. so in this blog I want to clarify a few things!
Tomorrow is the feast of Saint Therese of the child Jesus and as she is the patron saint of missionaries, she’s the ideal saint to help us with being apostles of love.
Therese had a very simple spirituality, talking to Jesus as a familiar friend from the heart (just as Our Lady asks in Medjugorje) and offering all her pains and sufferings and misunderstandings for others while loving Jesus in the Eucharist!
She desired to travel the entire world as a missionary and little did she know that her wish would come through after her death.
Here is a prayer I picked up yesterday at the Carmelites in anticipation for tomorrows feast day. Let’s all pray with expectant faith!
So getting back to being an apostle of love. What it doesn’t mean is being friends with everyone and never talking about Jesus or mass or the rosary etc.
And it certainly doesn’t mean going around hugging people like the easter bunny and saying “I love you”!!
No! What it means is getting to know people and love people and bit by bit over time to teach them about Jesus at the right pace.
Take my friend Peter for example. While I post on Facebook and here many pictures of us laughing and joking when we meet we talk a lot about God.
Actually only last night when I was returning the clothes that he lent me for the party we had a wonderful conversation about the suffering that some of his friends that I saw at the party had been through.
As he shared I pondered on the enormous need that they would have to be loved and healed and how jumping in with “Jesus loves you” could put salt on the already very painful wounds of their lives.
Anyway as I was going I gave Peter the prayer card to Saint Therese and explained to him who she is. I’ve also given him a miraculous medal which he wears around his neck and also a copy of Mirjana of Medjugorje’s book “My heart will triumph”.
And as he shares with me about his friends pain and sufferings I will pray for them when I go to mass today that they may be touched by Jesus and ask God if there is any way that I can reach out to them in love!
Similarly as we went along to the party the other day (which was not a wedding I must clarify). It wasn’t to show our support for people who don’t know God and live lives without him but it was to show our love for Peter and to bring the love of God to these people!
And you may ask if it worked?
Well here is the funny bit! Peter is very very sociable and extremely forward and he has told every single one of his friends about this Michael who loves Jesus and has visions and so many of them are really interested and perplexed and want to come to our church to find out more!
You see, Peter is becoming an apostle of love already!!
And so you see that this way of loving people and befriending people starts with the inside and works with the person at a gentle pace.
It’s not about converting people because that’s God’s job. It’s about loving them, caring for them, sharing for them, praying for them and helping them.
Peter and others in similar situations may never become catholics or go to mass or confession before he dies but will this stop Jesus having mercy on him like the good thief beside Jesus on the cross?
And so you see Our Lady is asking us to love and to trust in Jesus for the rest because only God sees the hearts of people and their circumstances.
I could tell you hundreds more stories like Peter’s of people over the years that I’ve met from those that thought I was nuts to those that came to mass with me and prayed with me but as I said, love comes and afterwards people are entirely free to take on board what I’ve told them or not!
And so today let’s pray to both Our Lady of Medjugorje and to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus that we may be the missionary apostles of love as as they would like.
May the Holy Spirit fill us with supernatural love and mercy for our mission and may we be empowered and enlightened by the Holy Spirit and His many gifts and charisms so as to bring the love and healing of Jesus to as many hurting hearts as possible.
Blessings to all!