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Updated on July 15, 2012

For Greater Glory


15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

What makes one a CHRISTIAN? Despite discouragements from friends and relatives to go to China because of its ongoing territorial dispute with the Philippines, I flew all the way to Beijing with fear and trembling so to speak. If there was one thing I was afraid of, it was the thought of how am I going to be treated by the people out there. What if I get lost, as there were only very few locals who can speak English? Will they show me the way?

Unfortunately, I did get lost. Upon arrival, the taxi driver brought me to the wrong place even far from the hotel where I was supposed to stay. Lost that I was, I took refuge at a convenient store hoping to be directed to the right place. Though the cashier has very limited English, he was kind enough to entertain me. Having difficulty communicating, he asked me to call the hotel and talk to the receptionist. Surprisingly, he doesn’t know the place either. What he did after that, however, touched me in some sort of way. He led me to the road where I could find a taxi and patiently waited for it to arrive and made sure that I leave the place safely. Once the taxi arrived, he asked me to call the hotel and hand my phone to the driver to make sure the driver would take me to the right place. I arrived at the hotel late in the evening at around 10:00pm, but safe and sound! I’m very sure that that person wasn’t Catholic, nor was he Christian. But the gesture he did to me, was indeed a mark of what a TRUE CHRISTIAN should be!

I think that Jesus’ apostles, as Christ sent them in twos, felt the same way I did. They too, were anxious. They were afraid. They were terrified, as they could die a martyr professing Christ as the Son of God, their true savior. But no matter what, they are certain that they were called to do something. They were called to be on a MISSION. Yes, they were called to be APOSTLES but more than anything, they were called to be CHRISTIANS. This Sunday, Christ reminds us that as He sends the twelve on a MISSION, we too, are being sent to do the same:

1. We have the mission to live as CHILDREN OF GOD. To realize that we are God’s children should change our outlook in life. We are to be children living the life of our Father filled with love, rather than selfishness and disobedience. I learned from basic catechism when I was a young boy that one of the effects of baptism is to become children and heirs of the Kingdom of God. True indeed we are, but we have to prove ourselves worthy to be called “children of God.”

The movie, “For Greater Glory” depicted a clear example of a true child of God. Jose, who in his youth, had professed strong faith to the Christ King, Cristo Rei, even to his grave. He knew by heart even as a young man that he has a mission. He has a mission to live his life according to the life of Christ the King, Cristo Rei. He may not have the skills to defend himself physically, but he knew too well that he’s called to do greater things even by simply waving the Cristero flag in their battles and providing food for the revolutionaries. He was more than a child. He was a CHILD of GOD.

2. We have a WITNESSING mission. I have mentioned “witnessing” in my homilies like a thousand times, but witnessing remains to be the best way of preaching. We are called to share with others not just words, or ideas, or doctrines but an experience, our experience of God and His Son, Jesus. We are called primarily to be witnesses than simply to be teachers.As Evangelii Nuntiandi puts it, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.”

A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss the use of the car.

His father took him to his study and said to him, "I'll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your Bible a little and get your hair cut and we'll talk about it."

After about a month the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss use of the car. They again went to the father's study where his father said, "Son, I've been real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you've studied your Bible diligently, but you didn't get your hair cut!"

The young man waited a moment and replied, "You know Dad, I've been thinking about that. You know, Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair...."

To which his father replied, "Yes, and they walked every where they went!"

Witnessing is NOT about following the words of Scriptures to the letter, but rather living it up in order that the life of Christ may radiate to others.

3. We have a LIBERATING mission. Today’s world needs liberation or freedom from things that could enslave us. Alcohol, gambling, pornography, materialism, or of any activity which somehow can take control of people’s lives, including the HHS mandate which curtails our religious freedom and responsibility. Christ wants us to be His instruments of liberation, to help others recover their freedom and cure their sicknesses, which keep them from fulfilling their mission.

So who are you? You say, I am a CHRISTIAN! But what does it take to be a Christian – a follower of Christ? Hear these words from an unknown writer:


When I say, "I am a Christian,"

I'm not shouting, "I am saved."

I'm whispering, "I get lost"

That is why I chose this way.

When I say, "I am a Christian,"

I don't speak of this with pride.

I'm confessing that I stumble

And need someone to be my guide.

When I say, "I am a Christian,"

I'm not trying to be strong.

I'm professing that I am weak

And pray for strength to carry on.

When I say, "I am a Christian,"

I'm not bragging of success.

I'm admitting I have failed

And cannot ever pay the debt.

When I say, "I am a Christian,"

I'm not claiming to be perfect.

My flaws are too visible

But God believes I'm worth it.

When I say, "I am a Christian,"

I still feel the sting of pain.

I have my share of heartaches

Which is why I seek HIS name.

When I say, "I am a Christian,"

I do not wish to judge.

I have no authority

I only know I'm loved.

Our mission is principally based on the very words of Christ to come and follow Him. If we come to understand these words, it will be much easier for us to understand our tasks of living as a child of god, of witnessing, and liberating missions.


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