By Thea Dijan
CFC SFL Laguna
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”~Luke 10:2
The Mission of the Seventy-two
This Gospel has been a very significant part of my life. It was in year 2009 that I came across this Gospel in one Liturgical Bible Study we had in our household. I remember our couple head asking us if we are ready to leave everything behind once we are called by God to go on mission. I answered, I think I can be ready for that as long as I hear it’s really God calling me to be a missionary. I was already asked by our vicariate head if I can be part of a mission trip but I said no, thinking I have to focus on what I claimed to be my mission area, my family and SFL Los Baños.
So blessed, I can’t contain it. So much, I have to give it away
I encountered this Gospel for the second time, first quarter of 2010. I was with my household member attending a Sunday Mass. I was so touched when I heard the Gospel because that was the time my sister-in-Christ and I was asked by a full time worker to be a mission volunteer for Laguna and finally, I said yes without any second thought. I am too overwhelmed by God’s love for me in everything that has happened in my life especially from the time I became a member of CFC – Singles for Family and Life. Saying yes is my “thank you” to Him. I realized my calling to be a co-worker of Christ by becoming a mission volunteer.
72 Strikes Three
I moved to Quezon City in second quarter of 2010 because of a job opportunity. Since I am staying in QC five days a week, I decided to search for SFL Cubao. I was able to have an upper household and during my one-to-one’s with a mission volunteer, I mentioned to her that God planted a desire in my heart to be a missionary, more than being an incoming mission volunteer. As we talked, I realized that there is really a need of more laborers. I prayed hard to God, asking Him to purify my desire to be a missionary. That night, I realized that the Gospel is again about the mission of the seventy-two.
It has been months already that I have been persistently praying to God to purify my desire to be a missionary. After that third time, divine revelations keep coming in during my personal prayer time. I had questions, worries and fears. I cried because I was overjoyed. God is really speaking to me through scriptures. His Words are too overwhelming for me to handle. I seek wisdom from elders, a nun, a priest, a seminarian and full time workers. I was touched with all their words. One said I should consider it a time of “courtship” as God pursues me like a persistent suitor. Wow. I treasure this moment a lot. I realized also that while I am waiting for God to answer my questions, I must not forget that God is waiting for my answer, too.
I have been in the community for more than four years now. I have been part of many CLS and was able to pray-over many participants. I believe I have already received the power of the Holy Spirit. Many times, I open my hands to receive all God’s graces and gifts. Now, I realized that it’s time for me to stretch out my arms, deny myself, reach out to others, spread God’s love, carry my crosses and start following Jesus’ footsteps. I realized my mission in life is to be a part of God’s plan to not only inspire people and change lives but also to save souls. I want to live for others. I want to live for God. In these moments of my discernment process, I realized that when we are called by God, we are not to answer yes or no. We only have to obey. I continue to ask Mama Mary’s intercession in every decision I make. I pray that I may always be pure, humble and obedient like our Mother and her Son, Jesus.
Why only now?
It’s also months already that I had been asked to do this essay, but I hesitated because I really wanted to be sure of God’s calling to me. I wanted to be strong with my conviction. I had feelings of unworthiness. I believed I am nothing compared to those who are now full time missionaries and mission volunteers. I had false humility. Through a lot of prayers, God continues to change me. He continues to reveal His message to me. He makes me feel worthy to be called. He tells me I am destined for greatness. He trusts me. He has confidence in me that I will continue to bear fruits. Wow! Despite my imperfections and sinfulness, God chose me. He entrusted me to protect, to set an example, to serve, to sacrifice and to love. He is the one making me strong with my passion to serve Him more.
As I wrote this essay, I was praying to God to help me answer the question, “Why do I want to be a missionary?” I struggled how to express what’s inside my heart in words, how would I go direct to my point, how would I put into a 500-word essay my burning desire to serve God. It was not enough. So I made this essay a little detailed because I realized that this is the way God is in my life. He knows me very well. He knows every inch of me, every detail of my life. My journey closer to Him is incredibly well-planned for. I knew I had to share this one in a detailed manner too because I know God treasures every moment of it and I treasure that, too. God touched me in the smallest of all details. Wow! God loves me so much. And this is my way of saying “I love You, too!” to Him.
Fisher of men
One of God’s revelations to me is Luke 5:10-11. “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men. When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.” I am continuously praying for God’s will in my life. As one priest had told me during one of my confessions, every day is a formation day and one of the greatest failures will be not to try and respond to God’s call. I want to serve God. I want to be a fisher of men. I want others to be closer to His Son, Jesus. I want to spread God’s Words. I want to share God’s love. I want the entire world to see that He is God, the Almighty. I fervently pray that in His most perfect time, I will be able to leave everything behind for Him. Truly, to have a taste of missionary life, I have to step out of the boat for it’s time to walk on water. I am confident and unafraid for He has been my Savior. And I believe that becoming a mission volunteer will continue to mold me as God’s humble and grateful servant. But in the end, I always pray…not my will, but Yours be done. Amen.
It was last November 12, the day I got a new job, that I wrote this essay for my application to be a Mission Volunteer. Last December 6, I was interviewed in CFC-FFL Home Office, accepted as part of the MV72 and assigned as an MV of Laguna. I was sent to Pampanga, on my birthday, for my first mission trip. Since then, I felt more blessed (and surprised with more gifts of mission). Truly, when you take that first step into the unknown, He won’t let you go. He never let me go. I continue to pray for more workers in His vineyard. So what are you waiting for? 🙂