We Are A Mission Meets Pope Francis!
These words, readers of young and old, are now addressed to you. Have you felt this impulse, this sensation, this fire, to step off the threshold and go? As Pope Francis would say, it’s “not a thing or an object, but a person; He is alive, and His name is Jesus.” As He is love, there is no calculation; only a complete surrender to the greatest adventure of your life.
In my 25th year, I met Pope Francis; the ardent desire of my heart since the night of his election. On March 13, 2013, amidst the Roman sky and computer screen, seared were the words, “Go to Rome to serve the Church; because the mission of this new pope, will be your mission in life.”
As our disciple John would say, as we set out on this mission- which, at the root of it all, is love alone- it is done by deeds and truth; where it is no longer “me”, but “we,” and more importantly, “they.” They who are in the peripheries, they who we met the Pope for, and they who inspired Fr. General Jacob Nampudakam to create this website. But they have a name; they are the living flesh of Jesus.
If the pastoral legacy of Pope Francis is peripheral, then surely it’s all grace to be in such accordance with His will, and not perchance to be collaborating with Fr. General to realize God’s project across the Pallottine world. On the 200th ordination anniversary of our Founder, his successor launched We Are A Mission- named after Pope Francis’ words “I am a mission”- to spread the radical living of the Gospel by touching life’s peripheries.
Though as St. Paul VI tells us, if we wish for it to be real and true, it demands bold innovations that run deep; and this depth is found not in pockets, but in the depths of our interior being. The foundation, then, of Mission is the moral and spiritual development of the human person, fostering the belief that every person is a vocation to be fulfilled. If we are all part of Christ’s Mystical Body, then we all need each other; it must be nurtured in the heart of humanity that we are only as strong as our weakest brother or sister; that we are only as happy as our saddest loved one.
Likewise, Mission seeks the promotion of social justice and peace, and dedicates distinct advocacy for the evangelization of the youth. Dear young friends, love the Church which is holy! Do not let the faults of men be a distraction, but instead, always encourage its goodness; this is why Jesus’ blood was shed.
Goodness is not singular, but plural; the common good is an ethical good, and humanity and dignity are universal rights. In spite of all the technological advancements, this is the real measure of progress.
Thus, to promote action in these fields of peace, Mission also seeks the protection of children and nature, launching two sub-initiatives: the Laudato Si Project and Projet Bambino Gesù. For as Fr. Jacob says, there is no creation more precious than the little child.
Littleness is Mission's beauty; as mission is not measured by the extent of which we travel, but by the extent of which we love. Mission is measured by holiness, for oftentimes, it’s the quiet prayers of our “saints next door” which change the world. Mission is measured by how many times we open the door for others - seeking nothing in return-, and through grace it’s also opened unto us. Mission is measured by the intensity of our response to the Lord’s call, but understanding that its proclamation is simplicity. The Gospel, brothers and sisters, is enough!
If these are our convictions, then they were realized through a divine reality in meeting Pope Francis. The Vicar of Christ is a veil of Heaven upon earth; a light ever lucid, a transparent soul ever sanctified. Face to face is a divinity not to be expressed upon lips, or pressed upon paper; it’s a sensation only understood between God and the heart, and it’s communicated by the Holy Spirit in this way to whom we love. It’s a wonder to be cherished, an astonishment to be nourished; it’s insane happiness of being Jesus’ disciple.
So what's next, then, for Mission, who has met the Pope just after 1 year of its takeoff? Well, now we must jump out a little deeper; abandoning all that is safe at port, for the thrill of our faith. After all, we seek not what is seen, but what we believe. We are a mission!