Good and Faithful Servants – Well, I’ve had a few days to catch my breath and want to share what’s been happening and some of the Word the Lord has been speaking to me.
Holly and Anthony’s newborn son (our missionaries in Grenada, Caribbean), Elijah John the Baptist Luczak, has arrived; mother and child and daddy are doing fine; mother and baby are adjusting to a sleep and a breastfeeding routine.
The missions in the Philippines and in Spain are up and running. (I ask all the missionaries to please send me copies of the newsy e-mails you send back home, so that I know what’s happening – sometimes I’m embarrassed to learn from others what our missionaries are doing – I need to be kept informed.)
Franciscan University’s mission group is at General Cepeda this week; Sarita reports from there that all is going well. Mrs. Genie was there a week ago with the Theresians and that mission went well. The Browns and Jen are working hard – Jen’s Dad went down with Sarita for a visit.
We have a young man here at Big Woods for his Come and See.
The office is busy with all the usual stuff that needs doing. We had a successful Shoot with a Mission fundraiser this past weekend – the BOSS gave us beautiful weather for the event. I had the privilege of going to India to help Bro. Luke and Albert get started there; I spent two and a half weeks with them, and enjoyed the fellowship. India has over a billion people, and there are lots of them everywhere, all the time. They seem heavy-laden and awaiting Good News. They are entitled to know that the One True God is their loving Father and willing to forgive their sins and help them with the spiritual battle, their daily bread and everything.
Seek the Lord’s Plan for Your Mission
On arrival I suffered jet lag, and we were feeling displaced, and sort of overwhelmed by there being so-o-o many people everywhere. I said, “Lord where do we start, what can we possibly do amidst such a multitude of people? And while I prayed, the Lord said, ‘You are the salt of the earth, you are the light of the world.’ In other words, the Lord was committed to work through our presence there, even in mysterious ways we might not be aware of.
I continued to pray as the time passed, and I asked, “Lord, with so much need and so many people, what can we do, what do you want to do?” And the Lord showed me to pray that His Kingdom come, that His will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. In other words, India is certainly not heaven yet, and the Lord is committed to work until it is in India as it is in Heaven. And I began to repeat in prayer over and over again: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven….” And as I prayed I felt the Lord was at work to build His Kingdom all around me, for the sake of all His children in India.
When we went to Mass on our first Sunday in the new parish where Bro. Luke and Albert will be living and serving (Mother Theresa of Calcutta Parish!!), the first reading talked about how the Lord sent Abraham out and that those who blessed Abraham would be blessed by the Lord, and that those who cursed him would be cursed. We need to realize that the Lord goes out with us into mission; missions is His work before we lift a finger. The Holy Spirit is the principal agent of Evangelization, and Jesus says, “I will be with you always, until the end of time.”
Daily Schedule in Mission
I left Luke and Albert a list of the activities that they need to schedule into their lives; all of you need to schedule these things into your lives:
daily personal prayer time alone, with Bible reading
daily common prayer together with your mission team
schedule the meal times
divide up the household chores and schedule the time for them
schedule some hours for ongoing study (Bible and Church teaching) each week
have a weekly team meeting to talk about household issues and issues concerning the apostolate
agree and plan together
meet to discuss and plan which apostolates to undertake, and who will serve on which apostolates
schedule a one-on-one with your team leader on a regular basis, and whenever needed
schedule a weekly desert day and agree on where y’all will go
have a free day or half-day for shopping and personal errands (this is the time for personal e-mails)
schedule weekdays when Mass is feasible
plan together for excursions for outreach ministry to other places
the leader, with others, should periodically meet with the bishop/priest/pastor to talk about what is happening and to receive the pastor’s input
schedule special team retreats to seek the Lord’s guidance from time to time
get out a team newsletter every two months – with nice photos
Someone said that one of our missionaries ran up a large phone bill this past month talking to their mom back home: this is an abomination!! We have told the first year missionaries that their communications with family and friends should be limited to one day a week (except in emergencies); I expect you to adhere to that guideline. You can’t be living back home while you’re in the missions; be focused on the work God has sent you to do in the missions; leave the things at home in His hands. If you don’t, your mission will never get off the ground.
This is the season of Lent; we all need to get our acts together. Don’t waste the opportunity the Lord has given you to be His missionary.
Be on the lookout for ways to serve the poor, expect to find Jesus there.
Please pray for one another, and keep us posted on any special prayer intentions you have – don’t forget to pray for those of us who are here at Big Woods.
Let us keep our hands to the plow, and be patient and persevering; let us accept the hardships that are part of mission life and rejoice when we suffer for the sake of the Gospel. This is for real, don’t expect anything less. Keep focused, pray constantly. When you need help or have an important decision to make, let me hear from you and counsel you and pray with you. –
Love in Jesus, Frank