When I was in college I used to say something along the lines of, “God will use me in a big way after I graduate and start teaching.” But once I started teaching I found myself saying, “I need to solidify my prayer life and deepen my relationship with Christ before he can use me.” And then I needed to get married before living my life in complete service to the Lord, and lately I have been pondering if motherhood is my true mission designed by God for my life. It is just so easy to put blinders on and anticipate the next chapter of life instead of embracing where we are at.
The truth is, during each of these stages, God was using me as one of his missionaries. I always thought of missionaries as people who were holier than I could ever be and who were changing the world in big and noticeable ways. To me, a missionary was someone who knew the Catholic faith through and through and was not afraid to live a life of traveling, poverty, and simplicity. It never dawned on me that it was possible to live out Christ’s mission while simultaneously living my ordinary life.
You see, as soon as we invite Christ to walk alongside us in life, we are called to live out small missions on his behalf each day. The Catholic Church’s primary mission is to spread the Kingdom of God. If you are a baptized Catholic, you are a missionary called to be the hands and feet of Christ on earth.
Proverbs 27:7 says “Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another.” We have the ability to draw people closer to the Lord. We need to unite ourselves with the people around us to spread Christ's love and mercy.
Unfortunately, there is not a step by step guide to living this way. But let me assure you, because it is Christ working through you, He will carry the burden. He will bring people into your life. He will use you in whatever capacity you are able to give. He will honor where you are in each state of life AND he will use your personality and specific gifts.
Let me share with you a story that best describes the Lord using my personality to spread the Kingdom of God. This past summer, my husband and I volunteered at the Legion of Mary booth at the county fair. Our booth had a table with rosaries, prayer cards, holy water, and other Catholic goodies free for the public to take. There was a man who walked by, and stopped when a solid black rosary caught his eye. He picked it up and looked at me and said, “I used to have a rosary like this before my house burned down.” I responded with an apology for that happening to him. And just like that he was sharing his hardships about the fire, finances, and car troubles. I listened to every detail he was willing to share and I answered the questions he had about the Catholic faith.
Before he left our booth I handed him a bottle of Holy Water and said, “You better take this home and bless your new house. Actually you should bless your entire property!” We started laughing when he told me that he has 40 acres of land. So I put another bottle of Holy Water in his hand and sent him on his way. Jesus knew this man was hurting and needed to talk. Jesus knew I would be willing to listen.
Your mission might be as simple as praying with your children each day. It might be joining a women's group and not being afraid to share your perspective. Your mission might be protesting and praying at the abortion clinic or having a challenging conversations with close friends who are living a sinful life.
The best way to discern your mission in each stage of life is to pray. Ask the Lord what he is calling you to do, and take a risk by actually doing it. We are all called to be Christ’s hands and feet on earth. Let us work together, as ordinary missionaries, to spread the Kingdom of God!
Until Next Time~Your Sister in Christ,