be fed on mission
Be fed on mission. So ended my friend Joe's email after sharing how the Lord inspired him to take donuts from the parish and go out into the nearby poor neighborhood and offer people donuts and an opportunity to be prayed with.
The crux of Joe's email was that in going out to literally nourish others physically and spiritually - he, himself, was nourished and fed on mission.
This got me thinking about the relationship between our personal spiritual nourishment (call to holiness) and our reaching out to people (call to mission) - the two universal calls from Vatican II.
The normal idea is that #1 we get holy and - then, and only then - #2 we go on mission. But, Joe's email and another conversation I had this week made me think differently.
I was on Skype with a friend in Slovakia, Hana, who has been going on mission trips to Turkmenistan (TU) for years now. I've always been struck by how radical this was. (In fact I interviewed her 3 yrs back on a podcast while in Slovakia).
She is currently raising funds to get back to TU. So, I asked her: "what makes you want to go to TU? is it the people, helping the poor?" Her answer threw me:
"Because I need Jesus more and it seems to me like I am more able to live closer to Him on the mission."
You see, she goes, not because somehow she is a spiritual superhero who's managed to be so filled with Jesus, that she is compelled to go and "overflow" in TU. No, she's made of the same stuff you and I are, with the same insecurities and weaknesses. She goes because she needs Jesus and is fed on mission.
I think we all know this deep down. When we've served the poor and been able to minister to others - even and especially when it requires much of us - we end up, often, getting more out of the experience than the people who we just served.
I still forget this. Thus it was so beautiful to be reminded that Jesus is with the poor, broken, lost, confused, addicted, screwed up, etc. And when we are obedient and go, we encounter Jesus and are fed on mission.
So, may you continue to be fed in your life of holiness through prayer, scripture, community, the sacraments, etc. And may we all have the strength and trust to give, even when we feel weak, that we might encounter Jesus and be fed on mission.
What about you? Any stories of being fed on mission?