Kumusta ka? (how are you?)
It is a simple question with a lot of stories and emotions to back it up. Nothing is more affirming than to know that someone actually cares enough – to know those stories and emotions that you have; to know that someone actually cares for your good.
In a world that hurt us and may have broken us many times already, it is hard to be kind, and even more to still care for the good of the other. But as MFC Youth, we are set apart. As missionaries of God, we are called to embrace the work of pastoral care. Being one with the Church, we are called to unity and to care for each other.
Pastoral care is more than just being emphatic to the other or being kind; it is journeying with each other and feeding each other with Love.
In the gospel of Mark 2:1-12, four men carried a paralyzed man to Jesus despite the crowd. They carried him towards Jesus for healing. We are called to do the same thing, to carry each other towards healing. We are to carry one’s burden and bring each other closer to God so He can restore us, “Bear one another’s burden, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:1).
We are called to carry the problems and aches of the other. Sometimes it is the person itself who is the burden that we must carry. And when someone or something becomes too much of a burden for us, as humans, we easily get tired. Understand that apart from carrying the burdens of others, you are also carrying your cross.
So remember that pastoral care is not the need for you to carry people towards faith and healing, but their need for God. They need God and not you, but because you have God within you, you are the body to which love will be felt, and love will be given.
To pastor with care also comes with guiding the other person. Because we want them to heal, we are also tasked to help them and to lead them to the right choices; to choose God every day so they can attain human wholeness. How can we do this if we are humans and vulnerable to sins? How can we be worthy to guide someone?
You can only guide them to greatness if you are living in holiness.
Caring for the other leads us to the desire to be better, to become more, so we can do more for the Lord. So be more, greater than who you are now so you can carry your heart; and the best part of it, bringing more hearts along with your growth.
The greater you become in God, the bigger your hands become to do His works.
Be more, do more, pray the most.
Lastly, as missionaries of Christ, we are called to nurture one another. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are called to enable each other to develop our full potential by journeying with each other. We are to nurture each other so we can endure the changes, the challenges, and the process.
During the times when it is hard to see the good in all things, and when it is hard to be a nurturer because nothing inside you seems to be right, remember that you are not feeding the other person with what you have but what God has.
Nurturing someone is not about giving all the good parts of you. It is imparting all the great things that God has in you – despite your own hurts, past, and situation. And for there is no flaw in God, there is nothing that God has given you that is not shaped in love – so, feed the world with that same Love.
Our greatest challenge in pastoral care is not that if we are worthy or great enough, but if we are willing enough to allow God to care for us too – to heal us, to guide us, and to nurture us.
Pastoral care is knowing God’s standard of loving, and then growing to find yours.
Are we whole and ready to pastor the youth?
The moment you allow God to love you is also the same moment you are being equipped to love. God is our pastor, and we are the care to which wounds are glorified, and to which sins are healed. Everything we’ve been through, led us to the realization of how important it is to be loved and to be cared for, you know how, so lead the world to care.
Be a pastor – carry people towards healing, guide people to holiness, and nurture them with love. You have enough wounds to know where and how to start, now’s the time. LOVE.
Tina Rama is a Mission Volunteer for MFC Youth serving in the Luzon Missions Team.