The missionary today PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 01 October 2015 16:20

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

Some drastic updating of our understanding of what a missionary is, is now in order. We should not get stuck with the common, textbook idea that a missionary is usually a priest or nun who goes to a far-away place, and literally starts a settlement there.

While this concept of a missionary is still valid—it will always be—it now cries to be expanded to reflect its true character, especially given today’s dynamic and more complicated world.

We have to understand that everyone, by virtue of his sheer humanity and much more, his Christianity, is called to be a missionary, and that he does not need to go to distant lands because his immediate environment already needs a more effective, down-to-earth evangelization.

Yes, even the ordinary guy in an office, the farmer, the businessman, the politician, the entertainers, artists and athletes, are called to be missionaries. That’s simply because as persons with a prominently social dimension in our life, we have to be responsible for one another.

And the biggest responsibility we can have for the others would be their moral and spiritual welfare, much more than just their economic or social wellbeing. It is this responsibility that we have to learn how to be more serious about and more competent in fulfilling. This is the current situation and challenge to all of us.   And so we have to reconcile ourselves with the reality that we actually have to be missionaries right where we are. In fact, I would say that to go to the deserts of Africa or the forests and rivers of Brazil could be far easier to do, since in these places we only have to contend more with physical and material difficulties.

The people in these isolated areas may exhibit primitive violent attitudes, but their minds and hearts can easily be converted by simple and elemental gestures of goodness. This has always been the experience of missionaries who went to these places.

It’s rather in the paved jungles of the big cities inhabited by very sophisticated people immersed in very worldly things where the more demanding kind of missionary work is needed.

In these places, the people tend to be so confined to their own world, already fiesta celebration, it destroys the sanctity of a religious activity. Table Talk is not really very religious or very conservative but those two words are seemingly erotic if taken as what it really meant, and it implies that the activities of Zamboanga Fiesta Pilar 2015 are for physical happiness and not a religious pilgrimage. The activity might be very modern, an activity similar to  Brazil’s “Carnival in Rio” but it transgresses the age old religious celebration of Nuestra Senora Virgen Del Pilar. Indeed, let us think modern, Mayor Beng but let us not also forget the past because “the past draws our future”.

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The next round of announcement from Mayor Beng, after filing her Certificate of Candidacy (COC), will be her complete slate. We were informed that some barangay chairmen are joining the race because they will not lose anything. The moment they will be defeated in the election they can still go back as barangay chairmen. This is grossly unfair for the other barangay officials who are next in line in the hierarchy. Mayor Beng must not allow this to happen. It defeats the purpose of good governance, especially in the barangays. The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) must adopt measures to prohibit barangay chairmen from seeking higher office while they are still in the present position. This is one political tradition that  seemingly works like a political dynasty or a monopoly?

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Scoop: Congressman Celso L. Lobregat was overheard in one of his radio interviews that he will only make known as to what position he will run, when he files his COC. Take note that Congressman Lobregat normally files his COC at midnight on the last day of filing of COCs. This will be a long wait for his loyal followers, that is if they will not fall on a temptation that they can’t refuse. Agree or disagree.